SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Brandon Aiyuk says ‘weight lifted’ off Trey Lance’s shoulders with trade

Aug 29, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: 1:08 pm

Deebo Samuel #19, Brandon Aiyuk #11 and Jauan Jennings #15 of the San Francisco 49ers in the locker...

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 29: Deebo Samuel #19, Brandon Aiyuk #11 and Jauan Jennings #15 of the San Francisco 49ers in the locker room before the NFC Championship playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 29, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the 49ers 31-7. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

Life after Trey Lance has been a bit weird for the 49ers this week, especially for Brandon Aiyuk. 

Aiyuk has emerged as a top-tier option for San Francisco over the last 12 months, taking the league by storm despite the quarterback turnover. Along the way, Lance and Aiyuk became close friends, spending much of the 2022 offseason working on their rapport together. Slated to be the 49ers’ QB1, Lance’s tenure ended abruptly when he fractured his ankle in Week 2 last season. 

And the rest, as we all know, is history.

Now having processed the trade news over the last few days, the wideout says his former teammate is in good spirits as Lance heads to Dallas. Seeing Lance on both Friday and Sunday, Aiyuk feels that his former QB is at ease with the trade.

“I think he was good,” Aiyuk told the media Monday. “Some weight was lifted off him, it looked like to me. I think he’s in a good spot.”

That doesn’t mean that the receiver is thrilled about the decision though, feeling uneasy that Lance is now an arch-rival. However, Aiyuk knows that the NFL is a business first and foremost, not surprised that the QB wants a chance to earn a bigger role elsewhere.

“It’s still surprising just because it’s a close friend of mine that came in after me,” Aiyuk stated. “I’ve been with him this whole, entire time, two seasons. Surprised from that standpoint, but in terms of how stuff goes, I understand. I understand the competitor that he is. He wants to compete and go out there and get a chance to show who he is to himself, and the world.”

And while the fourth-year budding star would have liked to have grown alongside Lance on the field, that isn’t the reality now for the 49ers. Now switching gears to QB Brock Purdy, Brandon Aiyuk is focused on only what he can control, and the players that are in Santa Clara.

“Credit to [Trey Lance], but he’s on his own path now,” Aiyuk said. “We are on different paths now. We are focused on the people in this building and myself right now.”

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