A Lions-49ers trade that would shut down the NFC title race

This trade between the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers would have a seismic impact on the race for the NFC if it happened.
NFC Championship - Detroit Lions v San Francisco 49ers
NFC Championship - Detroit Lions v San Francisco 49ers / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

After breaking out in a big way in 2023 en route to earning an All-Pro nod, the San Francisco 49ers wide receiver is seeking a lucrative long-term contract as he enters the final year of his rookie deal.

However, the dynamic 26-year-old wideout may have played himself out of the Niners price range, considering the amount of financial resources they have already invested in some of their offensive players and the looming extension of franchise quarterback Brock Purdy.

If Aiyuk and San Fran cannot come to terms on a deal and the former is unwilling to play on his fifth-year option, the team could have no choice but to explore the possibility of trading him. The two sides are reportedly “not close” and in a “bit of a standoff right now,” per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. 

But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. If the 49ers cannot see what they have in Aiyuk, another team in need of a bonafide alpha wide receiver entering the prime of his career will, like the Detroit Lions.

Lions-49ers Brandon Aiyuk Trade

Lions-49ers trade that sends Brandon Aiyuk to Motown

Here, the Lions send a 2024 first-round, fifth-round, and seventh-round picks to the 49ers in exchange for Aiyuk and one of the five compensatory picks they received as a result of free agent/coaching departures.

Detroit could certainly benefit from adding another pass-catcher alongside fellow 2023 All-Pro Amon-Ra St. Brown and Pro Bowl tight end Sam LaPorta, and adding an incredibly skilled route runner like Aiyuk, who thrives on all three levels of the field, would form arguably the best and most explosive pass-catching trio in the NFL, making the Lions an even more explosive offensive unit than they already are.

The Lions and 49ers met in the NFC Championship Game last season and are regarded as the top two teams in the conference as we enter 2024, making this a potentially league-altering transaction for all parties involved.