Brandon Aiyuk

Report: NFL teams believe 49ers' Aiyuk asking price was first-round pick

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Leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft, loads of speculation surrounded the 49ers and what they planned to do with either of their star wide receivers, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.

With the draft in the rearview, though, both Aiyuk and Samuel remain a member of the 49ers -- but that doesn't mean calls weren't made. And now, new intel from ESPN senior reporter Jeremy Fowler has surfaced about what some of those negotiations looked and sounded like between the 49ers and teams inquiring about the receivers.

Multiple teams told Fowler they had interest in Aiyuk but believed San Francisco wanted a first-round pick for him, adding that one team compared the situation to the A.J. Brown deal that sent him from the Tennessee Titans to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for the No. 18 overall pick in the 2022 draft.

The 49ers discussed Samuel with teams on Day 2 of the draft, Fowler reported, but a source told him two hours before the second round that San Francisco "isn't moving him."

Things grew even murkier after the 49ers drafted Ricky Pearsall in the first round with the No. 31 overall pick, a move that unnamed NFL execs told Fowler they were confused by.

"He can be a nice No. 2 or No. 3 receiver, a good player, but that was a bit of a reach, in my opinion," an NFC personnel evaluator told Fowler.

"They wanted a route runner like the Rams have in Puka [Nacua]," an AFC exec added. "Probably see him in that same role."

Scouts also were skeptical of San Francisco's Renardo Green selection, Fowler wrote, who the 49ers drafted in the second round out of Florida State.

As of now, Aiyuk and Samuel are set to return to the 49ers for the 2024 NFL season, and as general manager John Lynch said, he is doing everything in his power to keep it that way.

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