Wild, unlikely trade would tip scales toward Lions in NFC title race

It's got about a .00002 percent chance of happening, but this wild trade proposal would certainly give the Lions an edge on the 49ers in the NFC race.
NFC Championship -
NFC Championship - / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Entering the final year of his contract, on the fifth-year option and coming off back-to-back seasons with at least 75 catches, over 1,000 yards and at least seven touchdowns, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk would like to get paid.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network in late March,, the two sides "are not close" to a deal and trade rumors around Aiyuk persist as the draft approaches. The top potential suitors are easy to name, matching need with the ability to pay Aiyuk on the back end of a trade to get him.

It's safe to say the Detroit Lions have not made (and will not make) any list of top trade suitors for Aiyuk, even if the trade cost wouldn't necessarily be that high. They have a lot of their own players to pay coming up, not the least of which is wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. There's just not realistic room to pay two wide receivers near the top of the market long-term contracts.

Wild trade proposal would seriously tilt NFC power race toward Lions

The 49ers attempted to poach tight end Brock Wright from the Lions with an eye-opening offer sheet that ultimately wasn't quite what it seemed and Detroit matched it. Going the other direction, a recent trade proposal from FanSided's Lior Lampert is a few notches above trying to sign a milquetoast No. 2 tight end.

Brandon Aiyuk FS trade

Wide receiver may be on the Lions' radar at pick No. 29. So parting with that pick for the proven commodity Aiyuk is could be made to make sense. But that would require leaving aside the looming contract Aiyuk wants and has earned, and that just can't be done.

Aiyuk is just 26 year old, so he has some peak years left and an offense that throws the ball more than San Francisco does could unlock a different level for him. The Lions do have something of a void at wide receiver; to whatever degree and unless or until it ends up being filled.
It's a nice idea to weaken the 49ers' offense, while creating a major strength for yourself, if you're the Lions.

But Aiyuk-to-Detroit is simply not happening, due to the looming contract that has to be factored in by any team who has interest in him.

Detroit Lions mock draft: Consolidating assets to target specific players. Detroit Lions mock draft: Consolidating assets to target specific players. dark. Next