49ers GM: “Wouldn’t Anticipate” Brandon Aiyuk Trade

While the 49ers aren’t any closer to signing Brandon Aiyuk to an extension, the organization continues to signal that they want to retain the star wide receiver. With trade rumors rumbling, general manager John Lynch made it clear that the 49ers want Aiyuk on their roster in 2024 and beyond.

“I’ve communicated on many occasions: our wish is that he’s here and part of the Niners for the rest of his career,” Lynch said (via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner). “We’re working through that … I can say we’re having good talks, and I’m just going to leave it at that.”

When asked if there’s a chance Aiyuk could be dealt during this week’s draft, Lynch said that he “wouldn’t anticipate” making that kind of move. However, the GM did acknowledge that he’s received interest from WR-needy teams. We heard last week that the Steelers were among the teams sniffing around on the 49ers WR.

As Ari Meirov of The33rdTeam.com writes, the draft will ultimately be a “critical pressure point” in the 49ers/Aiyuk saga. This is a similar situation to how the 49ers proceeded with Deebo Samuel in 2022. The team ended up rejecting offers from interested teams (including the No. 10 pick from the Jets) before ultimately extending the receiver a few months later. If Aiyuk is on the 49ers roster through the draft, Meirov believes that will signal that the 49ers are confident in signing Aiyuk to a new contract.

Set to play the 2024 campaign on the fifth-year option, Aiyuk is seeking an extension that would make him one of the league’s highest-paid wide receivers. While the front office could temporarily afford an Aiyuk extension, the team may be hard pressed to carry the receiver’s sizable cap hits in future years.

If the 49ers aren’t willing to pay Aiyuk what he wants, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is confident that there are other teams that would willingly give the wideout a sizable pay day. Rapoport is currently leaning towards Aiyuk taking a slight discount to stick where he’s most comfortable, but the reporter also cautions that things could change quickly.

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