Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
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Let the rumor mill churn

Rumors are flying, and it’s tough to tell what’s true and what’s not in this day and age. When it comes to the San Francisco 49ers, hearing about them offering wide receiver Deebo Samuel in a trade makes sense, given their salary cap situation and his contract.

That doesn’t mean the 49ers are down on Samuel. This is a business, and when you make an offseason plan or map out what will get you back to the Super Bowl, dealing one of your better players, while difficult, might be what’s best for your organization in the long run.

Not every player is the same: contracts, age, ability, etc., all factor into the decisions a team makes. That brings us to Brandon Aiyuk. For my money, Aiyuk is among the seven best receivers in the NFL, and his production can’t be quantified by looking at stats.

Wide receiver is a premium position. Aiyuk turns 26 this week, and I’m not sure we’ve seen his best football yet. That’s worth an extension. Aiyuk is still under contract for another year, but he probably feels like he’s worth more than his current price tag of around $14 million in 2024—and how could you blame him after last season?

The rumor mill keeps churning, and the latest has Aiyuk linked to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Twitter/Instagram police have said Aiyuk follows the Jags, Trevor Lawrence, and a couple of other players. Whether that has always been the case or is recent is another story.

But according to Jaguars reporter Mia O’Brien, “Aiyuk’s interest is ‘mutual’ between Jaguars and his team.” O’Brien acknowledged that the situation was early, but when a credible team reporter said it, there had to be some legs to this story.

Jacksonville owns the 17th overall pick in the draft. Flipping Aiyuk for pick No. 17, a rookie contract, and, say, Texas Longhorns wide receiver Adonai Mitchell would be one of the few ways to stomach losing Aiyuk.

The team could also use that pick on an offensive tackle and their second first-round pick on the best available receiver. But Mitchell is a superstar who, I believe, has a chance to be one of the better players in the draft.

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