Jaguars must steer clear from trading for Brandon Aiyuk on Draft Day

• The Jaguars may or may not be interested in trading for Brandon Aiyuk but they're better off not pursuing him.
Dec 23, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) kicks
Dec 23, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) kicks / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers have made it clear they want to keep wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, but a recent report reveals that they could be inclined to trade him. Moreover, the Jacksonville Jaguars could be among the teams interested in pursuing him.

49ers general manager John Lynch is trying to shut down any fodder about potentially trading Aiyuk ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. However, Mike Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle says they reached out to at least one rival executive to gauge interest in trading for the 2023 Second-Team All-Pro. Just to give you a heads-up, the article is behind a paywall, so you'll need a subscription to read it in full.

Silver adds that San Francisco may want a first-round selection in exchange for Aiyuk but they might realistically get a second-rounder. He emphasizes that the Niners want to keep the star receiver but he wants to get a new deal.

Aiyuk is slated to make $14.8 million under the fifth-year option on his rookie deal but wants an extension that makes him the highest-paid receiver in the league. If the 49ers don't meet his contract demands, another team may be willing. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Media sees the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts as potential suitors.

Based on the wording on the post, it looks like Jeremiah isn't reporting interest from either Jacksonville or the Colts. Rather, he sees them as potential fits. Meanwhile, Pretty Rickey says Jacksonville isn't a front runner to get Aiyuk.

While Rickey's identity is unknown, he's got a good track record of breaking news before established insiders such as Adam Schefter or Ian Rapoport. He doesn't have a perfect hit rate, but this lead is at least worth monitoring.

Why the Jaguars should not trade for Brandon Aiyuk

Brandon Aiyuk would give the Jacksonville Jaguars a bonafide No. 1 receiver but they would have to invest a vast amount of resources to acquire him. On top of compensating the San Francisco 49ers, they would have to give him a top-market deal. From an outside perspective, it's hard to tell what his contract demands are but he may want something along the lines of $25 million per year.

Make no mistake, a player is worth what a team is willing to give him but the Jags may be better off using that money to give Trevor Lawrence a new deal. Moreover, they may be better off trading for Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze in the draft. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported they've done due diligence on the top receivers in the draft and may be open to moving up.

All things considered, it makes more sense to trade up for a receiver who'll be under a rookie deal for the next four (or five) years than paying Aiyuk a premium. Sure, Nabers and Odunze are unproven commodities but they come with plenty of upside, so it's a gamble worth taking.

In the end, someone will pay Brandon Aiyuk. Whether it's the 49ers remains to be seen, but the Jaguars should pass on the chance.

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