Patriots appear to get greenlight from 49ers to trade for Brandon Aiyuk

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers Practice
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers Practice / Chris Unger/GettyImages

Before the start of the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, Jerod Mayo met with those in attendance for the festivities at Gillette Stadium and hinted at his plans for the evening.

Apart from stating they were sticking with the No. 3 pick, he also suggested the group stay in the building until the final pick was made, insinuating that a potential trade-up would be coming from him and Eliot Wolf.

Although that ultimately didn't happen, most believed Mayo revealed their desire to snag one of the top receivers before it was too late. Fortunately, there are still plenty on the board at the start of Round 2, which they have the second pick of the night.

That's good and dandy, and Patriots fans would love to see a top receiver like Adonai Mitchell or Ladd McConkey drafted, but the 49ers' decision to select a pass catcher opens a more intriguing possibility for addressing New England's need for one.

49ers first-round pick gives Patriots greenlight to trade for Brandon Aiyuk

Because San Francisco chose to add a receiver to their roster, all signs point to them shipping Brandon Aiyuk elsewhere for the 2024 season on Friday night. The Patriots are in prime position to get a deal done, holding a high second round pick if that's GM John Lynch's asking price.

But they also have a higher third round pick to offer, on the off chance they'd be willing to accept that instead.

The Patriots can accommodate a trade for a receiver like Aiyuk, who is looking for a contract extension, preferably with an impressive salary. Their current cap space is projected to be over $54 million, mainly due to their lack of spending in free agency, and they'll have even more to play with in 2025, as salary cap websites like Over the Cap and Spotrac project between $144 million and $196 million.

That puts them in a better position to get a deal done than the Bills, who traded back and now hold the 33rd overall selection and need a receiver as well.

Other than the 49ers pick fueling speculation, Aiyuk's apparent text message to the team after their pick of Ricky Pearsall doesn't paint a peachy picture between the trio. Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan shared the receiver felt it was a "fire pick" and included the fire emoji.

But most people interpreted this revelation as a good thing, as the team seems to think it was.

Perhaps believing it seems more likely that Aiyuk was being sarcastic is looking too much into a harmless situation, esepecially from a Patriots perspective. But given the issues that have occurred this offseason regarding his contract status, it wouldn't be at all surprising if he really wasn't thrilled at their pick.

In any case, the Patriots need to make the call and make it soon. They'll be on the clock almost right away when Round 2 kicks off on Friday night, and they're believed to be looking at taking a receiver with the pick.

Mayo and Wolf emphasized their desire to build a great roster around new quarterback Drake Maye. Who better to add than a talent like Aiyuk, especially if it only took a second—or third-round pick to get the deal done?

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