This offseason presents a formidable challenge for the Buffalo Bills as they seek to fill the void left by Stefon Diggs, who has been a key contributor over the past four seasons. However, just as the Bills acquired Diggs through a surprising and impactful trade, an analyst suggests that a comparable move could secure a replacement after Diggs was traded to the Houston Texans earlier this month. Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus outlined various options for the Bills to consider in replacing Diggs, including the possibility of striking a trade with the San Francisco 49ers to acquire wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.


Brandon Aiyuk, Washington Commanders, San Francisco 49ers

Bills Would Need to Convince Niners to Deal Star Receiver

Monson pointed out that the Buffalo Bills face a challenge in finding a true number one receiving option through free agency, and their 28th overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft might not be sufficient to secure one of the top receiving prospects. He proposed that the Bills could attempt to persuade the Cincinnati Bengals to trade Tee Higgins, although there might be reluctance on the Bengals’ part to send him to a conference rival. Alternatively, Aiyuk could be a more feasible option, but the Bills would still need to present a compelling offer, likely involving a first-round draft pick.


After a career-best season in which he caught 75 passes for 1,342 yards and seven scores, Aiyuk is coming off the field.

In addition to the departure of Stefon Diggs, the Buffalo Bills suffered another blow as their No. 2 receiver, Gabe Davis, left to join the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. With these losses, the team’s top returning receiver is Khalil Shakir, who recorded 39 receptions for 611 yards and two touchdowns last season. However, there is optimism with the potential return of second-year receiver Justin Shorter, who missed his entire rookie season due to injury. Furthermore, the team bolstered its receiving corps by adding Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins in free agency.

Brandon Aiyuk’s Big Price Tag

If the Bills were successful in persuading the 49ers to trade Brandon Aiyuk, the next hurdle would be managing his contract. Spotrac estimated Aiyuk’s market value at a four-year deal worth $96.1 million. As highlighted by Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports, the Bills were already facing salary cap constraints even before trading Diggs. Acquiring Aiyuk would likely further strain their cap space in the short term, although they might eventually see some relief down the line.

Kerr observed, “The Bills’ salary cap outlook for 2024 appears challenging, but it seems Buffalo is adopting a long-term strategy.” He explained that while the Bills will bear a significant dead cap hit of $31.1 million due to the Diggs trade, they will also realize savings of $19 million in cash by trading Diggs now. This move will consequently free up $19 million in cap space for the 2025 season with Diggs off their books. For the 2024 season, they are projected to have approximately $4.5 million in available cap space.

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