Bears’ absence in Brandon Aiyuk trade rumors latest evidence how much things have changed


Bears’ absence in Brandon Aiyuk trade rumors latest evidence how much things have changed originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

In almost any other offseason in the past 20-to-30 years, news of a disgruntled star receiver would have Bears fans jumping at the chance to add the type of elite weapon their franchise has rarely found and never maximized.

Hell, most of the time, public friction between the receiver and his current team wasn’t even required to have the Chicago pipe dream hunters conjuring up ways for the Bears to surrender little to land a top-tier pass-catcher.

DK Metcalf, Terry McClaurin, DeAndre Hopkins, Deebo Samuel, and Amari Cooper are just a few of the names the Bears have been casually linked to over the past few years as they searched for a way to field an offense that at least resembled a modern NFL attack.

For years, Brandon Aiyuk and the San Francisco 49ers‘ ongoing contract dispute would have dominated the summer in Chicago.

The Bears, of course, have almost always needed a guy like Aiyuk.

But today is not yesterday.

The 26-year-old Aiyuk caused a stir Monday in a TikTok that saw the 49ers receiver talking to Washington Commanders rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels on the phone. Aiyuk and Daniels were college teammates at Arizona State.

In the video, Aiyuk told Daniels, “They don’t want me back.”

To which Daniels responded, “That’s it?”

“I swear,” Aiyuk said.

It’s unclear if Aiyuk implied that the 49ers don’t want him back, period, or that they won’t meet his demands for a lucrative contract extension. Aiyuk is entering the final year of his rookie contract and did not attend the 49ers’ offseason program. Multiple reports have stated that talks between the 49ers and Aiyuk have stalled.

Aiyuk is coming off a season in which he caught 75 passes for 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns.

In any other offseason, rumors of his discontent would have been like blood in the water to the sharks in Chicago. It would have everyone in Chicago demanding general manager Ryan Poles get on the phone with 49ers general manager John Lynch and iron out a deal for Aiyuk post haste.

Instead, the Aiyuk-49ers stalemate is being met with indifference or ignorance in a city on the edge of its seat as it waits to get a glimpse of rookie quarterback Caleb Williams and the Bears’ new-look skill group in training camp.

With Aiyuk in Chicago, it’s not, “It would be nice but…”

It’s merely, “No, thank you.”

For the first time in eons, the Bears have no need for an elite receiver.

After trading for DJ Moore last offseason, Poles made the wise move to triple down at wide receiver this offseason. He traded a fourth-round pick to the Los Angeles Chargers for veteran Keenan Allen and drafted Washington star Rome Odunze with the No. 9 pick in the first round.

An elite wide receiver could wind up being traded soon, and the Bears aren’t anywhere near the rumor mill’s orbit.

Not because of negligence but because of a lack of need.

There might be no bigger sign that these days are different for the Bears than that.

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