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NFL draft rumors: Jaguars linked to potential Brandon Aiyuk trade

As the 2024 NFL draft inches closer and dominoes continue to fall in the league’s wide receiver market, all eyes are on San Francisco and the status of star 49ers’ pass-catcher, Brandon Aiyuk.

Aiyuk has been the subject of seemingly endless trade rumors this offseason as a long-term contract extension with San Francisco has evaded him thus far. He’s currently slated to play the 2025 campaign on his fifth-year option, worth just over $14.1 million fully guaranteed, and has been eligible for a new deal since March 2023.

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah added fuel to that fire on Wednesday, one day before the draft, saying on social media that the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts continue to stand out as potential trade partners for Aiyuk as he projects the selection ceremony’s results.

“Looking at possible teams for an Aiyuk trade and I keep coming back to the same two,” Jeremiah wrote, “Colts & Jags.”

Freshly removed from his second-consecutive season of 75+ receptions, 1,000+ yards and seven-plus touchdowns, Aiyuk, a late-first-round pick in 2020, is believed to be demanding a long-term deal with a salary and guarantees in range with the NFL’s top-paid receivers.

Detroit’s four-year, $120 million extension of wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown on Wednesday, and other big-dollar contracts awarded this offseason to pass-catchers like Tennessee’s Calvin Ridley, Philadelphia’s Devonta Smith and Indianapolis’ Michael Pittman Jr. set a pretty high bar for San Francisco to meet.

The 49ers currently rank No. 24 in the NFL in effective 2024 cap space with $6,391,025 available, and No. 31 in that department with negative funds accessible for 2025, according to Over the Cap.

Trade rumors are probable to surround Aiyuk until a deal is reached or a trade is dealt, as a result. Following Ridley’s jump from Jacksonville to Tennessee in free agency, the Jaguars have a need at the position and therefore have been pegged as potential suitors for Aiyuk consistently.

The presence of former 49ers vice president of player personnel and director of college scouting, Ethan Waugh, in the Jaguars’ front office lends credence to those theories. He was part of the San Francisco staff that scouted and drafted Aiyuk in 2020.

Should San Francisco be willing to part with Aiyuk via trade, a first-round selection in the 2024 NFL draft is considered likely to be required from a prospective buyer to complete the deal. Jacksonville owns the No. 17 pick.

Through four pro seasons and 62 regular season appearances, Aiyuk has tallied 269 receptions for 3,931 yards and 25 touchdowns. He’s also scored twice rushing.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire