WR Brandon Aiyuk Not Present At 49ers’ Minicamp

While the 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey extension ensures they have one fewer key player who would be in a contract year come 2025, Brandon Aiyuk remains unsigned beyond this season. Attached to a fifth-year option, the standout wide receiver continues to stay away from his team.

Aiyuk joined CeeDee Lamb by failing to report for his team’s minicamp Tuesday. Aiyuk did not show for the start of 49ers three-day camp, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. Should the two-time 1,000-yard receiver skip all three days of the mandatory offseason session — as it certainly looks like he will — a $104K fine would be levied. Aiyuk has missed all of San Francisco’s offseason program thus far.

Players who miss OTAs usually show for minicamp, but it is not especially rare to see someone engaged in big-ticket extension talks to steer clear of the June session. Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel each attended San Francisco’s minicamp (though, neither participated) while in contract negotiations, respectively, over the past two years. The 49ers reached extensions with both players before Week 1. As of now, Aiyuk is tied to a guaranteed $14.12MM option salary.

The wide receiver market has shifted this offseason, with the top average salary changing hands three times since April. Amon-Ra St. Brown, A.J. Brown and now Justin Jefferson have topped Tyreek Hill‘s $30MM-per-year number, and the Vikings ventured into unprecedented guarantee territory to lock down their All-Pro talent. Jefferson raised the full guarantee bar at WR from $52MM (Hill) to $88.7MM. The could conceivably produce sticker shock from other teams negotiating with receivers. Aiyuk would not be a candidate to top Jefferson’s salary, but he is believed to be eyeing a deal in the $30MM-per-year neighborhood.

A May report indicated Aiyuk was targeting an extension worth slightly more than the $30.05MM-AAV deal the Lions gave St. Brown. Prior to the Jefferson contract, Aiyuk-49ers talks were not progressing. The 49ers passed on trading Aiyuk during the draft, though teams inquired; it was believed San Francisco targeted a mid-first-round pick for the 2020 draftee. John Lynch effectively put a stop to Aiyuk and Samuel trade talks, though neither player should be considered a lock to be a 49er this season.

The team’s first-round selection of Ricky Pearsall does appear based on a future in which one of the Samuel-Aiyuk pair is elsewhere, but for now, the team understandably seems keen on reloading and attempting another Super Bowl run with its core skill-position pieces in place alongside Brock Purdy‘s rookie contract. With Purdy extension-eligible in 2025, it appears likely Samuel or Aiyuk will be elsewhere. The 49ers still have some time on this front, holding exclusive negotiating rights with Aiyuk until March 2025 and the franchise tag at its disposal.

With no deal at minicamp, this saga does appear headed toward training camp, the window the 49ers have used to reach several key extensions during the Lynch-Kyle Shanahan era.

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