Patriots talked trade with 49ers for Drake Maye.
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Patriots talked trade with 49ers for Drake Maye.

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The New England Patriots used the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft on North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, and they might already be attempting to surround him with more talent.

The New England Patriots are negotiating a significant deal with the San Francisco 49ers to give Drake Maye the ultimate weapon.

On Thursday, the Patriots selected Maye as the third quarterback in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, following USC’s Caleb Williams and LSU’s Jayden Daniels, who were drafted by the Chicago Bears and Washington Commanders, respectively.

Now that Maye is officially on the roster, it appears New England is looking to add additional star power to their offense. According to CBS Sports, the Patriots held early trade conversations with the San Francisco 49ers regarding wide receiver Deebo Samuel before to the draft.

Samuel signed a three-year, $73.5 million agreement with the 49ers in 2022, and the team owes him $28.6 million in 2024 and $24.2 million in 2025. With only $6.3 million in cap space, the eighth-lowest in the NFL, San Francisco may attempt to dump his expensive contract.

Many teams would leap at the opportunity to acquire Samuel, who led the 49ers in yards after catch with 527 last season. In 15 games, he had 60 receptions for 892 yards and seven touchdowns.

Samuel isn’t the only 49ers wideout the Patriots have been linked with. Ian Rapoport, an NFL Network insider, suggested that New England might provide the No. 34 overall pick and late-round picks in exchange for Brandon Aiyuk.

Aiyuk’s impending departure from San Francisco has been rumored for quite some time. The 26-year-old and the 49ers are apparently in disagreement about a contract extension, with ESPN recently implying that Aiyuk’s “desire to get paid is greater than his desire to stay.”

With a lot of players already on large contracts, the 49ers may struggle to offer Aiyuk a market-value contract if he enters free agency. According to Spotrac, the star wide receiver will earn $14.1 million in 2024 and might seek up to $24.9 million per year on his next contract.

Aiyuk has established himself as one of the NFL’s top receivers over the last two seasons, with over 1,000 receiving yards every year. He’s getting better with each game and will lead the 49ers with 75 receptions and 1,342 receiving yards in 2023. Even after bringing back former 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne and adding former Vikings slot receiver K.J.

Last season, no New England receiver exceeded the 600-yard mark, with rookie Demario Douglas topping the chart with 561 yards. In other news, the 49ers selected Ricky Pearsall from Florida with the 31st overall pick in Thursday’s draft, adding another wide receiver to their already crowded roster.

However, head coach Kyle Shanahan seems skeptical about a potential trade involving Samuel or Aiyuk. “It doesn’t seem that likely to be honest,” he told reporters, according to ESPN, before playfully adding, “But I’m still on the table. If someone offered [owner] Jed [York] and John excellent stuff, I’d be out of here.”

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