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Will 49ers trade Brandon Aiyuk this week?

The chatter has subsided, for the most part, regarding the 49ers and receiver Brandon Aiyuk. If a trade is going to happen, it presumably will happen this week, so that the 49ers will get one or more 2024 draft picks in return.

Last weekend, Aiyuk’s agent took issue with a report that Aiyuk has requested a trade. The truth, however, is more along the lines of Aiyuk getting clearance to see whether someone would be willing to do a deal with the 49ers, which necessarily would entail someone doing a deal for Aiyuk. That could help the 49ers, if the financial offer another team might make to Aiyuk isn’t dramatically better than whatever the 49ers are willing to pay.

Earlier in the offseason, the 49ers rejected at least one overture regarding Aiyuk. Now, with the draft just four days away, it’s possible something will happen.

From San Francisco’s perspective, the smart move would be to keep quiet, if a trade is being contemplated. The goal should be to do the deal when the pick they’d be acquiring is on the clock, like the Titans did in 2022 when they traded receiver A.J. Brown and acquired Philadelphia’s first-round pick. The timing prevents the 49ers from being leapfrogged by a team that might guess right as to the player the 49ers would be taking, if they get the pick before it’s time for the pick to be used.

The better approach would be to find a way to work things out with Aiyuk. They traded up in round one to get him in 2020. He was a second-team All-Pro in 2023. He was a winning lottery ticket. Swapping him for a new lottery ticket makes little sense, since there’s a good chance the new lottery ticket won’t be a winner.

The challenge becomes setting the right value for Aiyuk on a long-term deal. Due to make $14.12 million under his fifth-year option, it’s unclear what Aiyuk wants.

If someone else is willing to give him what he wants (or something close to it) and to give the 49ers a significant draft pick in return, maybe the 49ers should revisit the value they’ve attached to him.

The problem for the 49ers is that they’ve created a precedent by paying receiver Deebo Samuel and defensive end Nick Bosa. They might feel compelled to take a hard line with Aiyuk, especially with quarterback Brock Purdy one regular-season away from a potentially dramatic raise.

Regardless, a potential Aiyuk trade is on the radar screen. If the 49ers play it right, we won’t know it’s happening until it happens. And it shouldn’t happen unless the 49ers can immediately select whoever they want with the next pick, avoiding any possibility of someone else thinking, for example, “Well, they must want a receiver so let’s try to cut the line.”