Should Giants make a run at star 49ers receiver via trade market?

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Washington Commanders, new york giants
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants could walk away from the 2024 NFL draft with a blue-chip receiver like Marvin Harrison Jr. or Malik Nabers. However, if they plan to acquire a top quarterback, which would likely indicate moving up in the draft a few spots, they could look to the trade market to reinforce the receiver position instead.

On Sunday, John Frascella, an NFL insider, reported that 49ers receiver Brandon Aiyuk has officially requested a trade, and with rumors that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens could be interested, who’s to say the Giants couldn’t enter the fold to secure one of the best catchers in the game and pay him on a long-term extension?

Similar to how the Giants operated with Brian Burns, they don’t necessarily have to spend a premium draft pick on a receiver, especially since they desperately need to overturn the quarterback position, which would open up more salary space in the future after they move on from Daniel Jones.

Should the Giants Look to Acquire Brandon Aiyuk?

Aiyuk is 26 years old and coming off an elite season with San Francisco, recording 1,491 yards and eight touchdowns, with 17.8 yards per reception and only two drops, good for a 2.3% drop rate.

Some will argue that the 49ers’ system was a catalyst behind Aiyuk’s dominance, but that may actually be hurting his upside. The 49ers heavily rely on the run game to operate, and with a team like the Giants, who are looking to push the ball downfield and generate more explosive plays, he could be a perfect fit for a team that needs a bonafide receiver who will lead by example.

Aiyuk isn’t only a premium pass catcher, but he also displays maximum effort, which is an intangible trait that many teams would love to add. He could land a deal in the $25 million per season range, given how much the market has ballooned over the past two seasons.

However, if the Giants move on from Jones, they can open up over $20 million in available salary space next off-season and reset the rookie quarterback window, which will give them the financial flexibility to sign a WR1.

Of course, in a perfect world, the Giants would manage to secure a quarterback and receiver on rookie contracts. Still, blue-chip players like Nabers, Harrison Jr., and Rome Odunza won’t be available after the first round. However, there will be some great value grabs, potentially players like Ricky Pearsall out of Florida or Keon Coleman out of Florida State. The upside is there to be great NFL players, but the drop-off is notable, and the Giants will likely have to weigh that decision.

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