Latest On 49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk

One of the predominant storylines around the NFL is the uncertainty surrounding Brandon Aiyuk. The ascending 49ers wideout has frequently been mentioned in trade speculation, and an extension agreement does not appear to be close.

Team and player are at an impasse with respect to contract talks at the moment, although Aiyuk and the 49ers are certainly not alone in that regard at the receiver position. Still, the 26-year-old’s most recent public remarks have led to a new round of questions regarding a potential trade out of San Francisco. Such a move is not on the team’s agenda based on GM John Lynch‘s stance, and reporting on the matter corroborates that.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted on a recent Pat McAfee Show appearance that the 49ers’ preference is to keep Aiyuk in the fold (video link). The sticking point is of course the Arizona State product’s asking price. Schefter adds, to little surprise, the bridge between his camp and the team widened after the receiver market saw its latest surge. Deals like Amon-Ra St. Brown‘s Lions extension have been surpassed by Justin Jefferson‘s historic Vikings pact, but they are believed to represent the floor of a 49ers Aiyuk agreement. Indeed, while St. Brown landed $77MM in guaranteed money, a source tells Mike Giardi of the Boston Sports Journal that Aiyuk is shooting for guarantees in the mid-to upper-$80MM range.

After Aiyuk skipped OTAs and minicamp, progress may not be made for several more weeks. Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area pointed (via colleague JP Finlay) to the period just before training camp as a potential timeline for an Aiyuk deal to be worked out. That would fall in line with previous San Francisco pacts, but regardless of when one were to be finalized in this case, the challenge of retaining the team’s full offensive core would remain. Fellow wideout Deebo Samuel has drawn trade interest this offseason, and with one year left on his pact the 28-year-old’s long-term future is in question. Falling in line with previous indications, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes a Samuel trade would be likelier than an Aiyuk one at this time.

The latter is under contract for this season on his $14.12MM fifth-year option, but a long-term commitment will cost much more. San Francisco needs to budget for a Brock Purdy mega-deal as early as next offseason, and the team prepared for a receiving corps without at least one of Samuel or Aiyuk by drafting Ricky Pearsall in the first round. Around the draft, the 49ers understandably received trade calls for both of their 1,000-yard wideouts, but Schefter’s report confirms talks never reached a serious point.

As a result, attention will remain on Aiyuk’s asking price and San Francisco’s willingness to reach it. Other receivers like CeeDee Lamb and Ja’Marr Chase could ink extensions in the $30MM-per-year range, and the market’s continued growth could make an extension more expensive in the future than it would be now. With Aiyuk having adjusted his financial target once this offseason, it will be interesting to see if he attempts to wait for further receiver deals to be signed before re-engaging with the 49ers.

View Comments (16)