Brandon Aiyuk Skipping OTAs; WR, 49ers Not Close On Extension

Abiding by the usual playbook for players in the mix for a lucrative extension, Brandon Aiyuk is not at 49ers OTAs this week. The two-time 1,000-yard wide receiver remains tied to his rookie contract and is operating as other high-profile 49ers have in recent years.

While Nick Bosa is at OTAs, the league’s highest-paid non-quarterback skipped workouts — including minicamp — during his negotiations last year. Deebo Samuel did not participate in the team’s 2022 minicamp, though he did show up weeks after requesting a trade. Aiyuk’s situation is somewhat similar to Samuel’s, but he has not requested a trade. As they did involving Samuel, the 49ers listened to trade offers during the draft’s first night. The team, which rebuffed pre-draft Aiyuk trade inquiries, was believed to be targeting a mid-first-rounder.

[RELATED: 49ers Did Not Consider Day 2 Trade For Aiyuk, Samuel]

Aiyuk and the team, however, still have a long way to go to reach a resolution. The sides are no closer to hammering out an extension than they were when negotiations started,’s Mike Garafolo notes. Since the 49ers and Aiyuk began discussions earlier this year, two other wideout contracts — those going to Amon-Ra St. Brown and A.J. Brown — have changed the market. Both deals checked in north of $30MM per year, which will almost certainly impact Aiyuk’s talks with his team.

Despite topping 1,000 yards in 2022 and ’23, Aiyuk has not matched St. Brown’s production over the past two seasons. Though, the Lions WR also has a significantly higher target share compared to Aiyuk. The 49ers’ leading receiver last season, Aiyuk reached 1,342 yards on fewer targets (105) than he received in 2022 (114). Aiyuk averaged 17.8 yards per reception last season. With Samuel two years older, Aiyuk may well profile as the receiver the 49ers want to build around beyond 2024.

For now, however, the 49ers have an intriguing receiver situation. Samuel and Aiyuk join first-rounder Ricky Pearsall and Jauan Jennings, the team’s multiyear WR3. Jennings has not signed his second-round RFA tender, but that is almost certainly coming due to the former seventh-rounder’s limited options. Unless the 49ers circle back to trade talks involving their top duo, they are poised to have a better receiving corps than they did during their latest NFC championship campaign.

The team’s post-2024 situation invites obvious questions, with Aiyuk unsigned and every other key skill-position presence — including Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle — set to be in a contract year come 2025. Brock Purdy‘s contract year will force the 49ers into big decisions, but the team has one more season with its former seventh-round QB find tied to a rookie deal.

While the 49ers would have the franchise tag as a potential Aiyuk option next year, early projections have the team more than $38MM over the 2025 cap. A tag salary would certainly pose an issue on that front, raising the stakes for this year’s extension talks. The 49ers appear to have paused any trade conversations on Aiyuk or Samuel, and the team has a John Lynch-era history of reaching extensions during camp. Samuel, Kittle and Fred Warner signed big-ticket extensions from training camp, and Bosa’s defender-record deal came to pass shortly before last season.

Time remains for Aiyuk and the team, but this offseason’s round of WR deals — a chapter that could be further muddled if Justin Jefferson or CeeDee Lamb sign during the 49ers’ talks — add potential complications. As it stands, Aiyuk is tied to a $14.12MM fifth-year option salary. San Francisco’s June minicamp, the offseason’s only mandatory activity, will mark the next stage of the Aiyuk saga.

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