The question arises whether the Houston Texans will pursue a trade for Brandon Aiyuk, who has established himself as an exceptional wide receiver expected to command a contract exceeding $25 million per season. While the San Francisco 49ers have the financial capacity to retain Aiyuk, the Texans, led by head coach DeMeco Ryans and offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, both with previous affiliations to the 49ers, could present a compelling offer.
Given the personal acquaintance with Aiyuk and the compatibility of his skills with the Texans’ offensive system mirroring that of the 49ers, a potential move seems plausible. The Texans, in dire need of a top-tier wide receiver to complement rising star C.J. Stroud, who appears to be a franchise quarterback, have the financial flexibility to afford Aiyuk, especially with Stroud’s cost-effectiveness for the coming seasons.
Aiyuk could benefit from Stroud’s stronger arm in Houston, enabling him to run deeper routes. Additionally, he might see a significant uptick in targets, potentially doubling his current rate, as the Texans lack other All Pro weapons vying for receptions. Despite Aiyuk’s stellar season, he currently ranks 46th in the NFL in targets, suggesting underutilization within the 49ers’ system.
While the 49ers naturally prefer retaining Aiyuk, the prospect of a trade becomes intriguing if the Texans propose an enticing offer, such as two first-round picks. The offseason may unveil whether the 49ers would entertain such a proposition from the Texans.