Brandon Aiyuk unfollows San Francisco 49ers on Instagram as four teams eye trade

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver, Brandon Aiyuk has sparked rumours of a potential exit from the team after unfollowing them on Instagram.

With the NFL Draft which will begin in less than two weeks, it is believed that the Niners may be looking to secure draft compensation if they decide to part ways with their rising star, who has hinted at his desire for a trade.

Speculation around Aiyuk’s future has been rife all offseason, and after he stopped following the Niners on social media, reports are expected to pick up pace.

Following their Super Bowl defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs, Aiyuk hinted at a possible departure from the team when he said:

“Don’t forget what got you there.”

His girlfriend added fuel to the fire by posting:

“This might be the last day that we touch foot on Levi’s Stadium, me and Brandon. Because we might not be out here next season.”

After his breakout season in 2023, where he racked up 1,342 receiving yards, Aiyuk is sure to attract interest from teams across the league.

Here are four teams who could potentially make a move for Aiyuk in the run-up to the first round of the NFL Draft.

Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are in dire need of a wide receiver to support Russell Wilson who they brought in as new starting quarterback.

As it stands George Pickens being the only notable starter in the receiver room. There’s strong speculation that they’re interested in Aiyuk, who could become a key player alongside Pickens in an exciting new offensive system.

Pittsburgh has the cap space and the draft assets to make a move for Aiyuk, potentially offering a second and fourth-round pick for him – despite the Niners reportedly demanding a first-round pick.

Buffalo Bills
The Bills traded Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans and are arguably even shorter at receiver than the Steelers. They too have the assets to make a deal after receiving picks from the aforementioned Diggs deal.

A trade for Aiyuk would be a win-win situation for all parties involved. Aiyuk would get the chance to compete for a Super Bowl alongside elite quarterback Josh Allen, who would get a younger and more explosive replacement for Diggs in Aiyuk.

The Niners, on the other hand, could receive draft compensation to bolster their offensive line and defensive back issues, while also sending the player away from the NFC.

Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers might be the team that needs Aiyuk the most, having lost both of their star receivers, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, in the offseason. This leaves Justin Herbert in a challenging position this season.

New head coach Jim Harbaugh has typically favoured building a run-heavy team, but they must secure at least one star receiver to keep the defense honest and maximise the potential of their superstar quarterback, Herbert.

The Chargers have a high pick in the second round which could be used to acquire Aiyuk, who would instantly become the team’s go-to option, replacing Allen who has been the team’s cornerstone at the position.

Washington Commanders
The Commanders have also been linked with a trade for Aiyuk, and might be best placed to do so with the second pick in the second round potentially enough to secure a deal. They’ve recently appointed Adam Peters as their new general manager, having poached him from the 49ers.

Washington is set to draft their preferred quarterback from Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, JJ McCarthy and Michael Penix Jr, with them expected to select Heisman Trophy winner Daniels after the Chicago Bears take Caleb Williams first-overall.

The Commanders have a rising roster in a new offensive system coached by Kliff Kingsbury as their new OC – with Aiyuk forming a potentially lethal pairing with Terry McLaurin.

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