Brandon Aiyuk

49ers GM John Lynch: ‘We’re Past’ Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel Trade Talks

Leading up to the draft and through the event’s first round in particular, the possibility of a 49ers receiver being dealt was a major talking point around the league. No deals materialized, though, and general manager John Lynch now considers the matter closed regarding any discussions in at least the near future.

“During the course of drafts and offseasons, do conversations happen? Absolutely they do,” Lynch said during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show (via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News). “We’re past that now.

“We’re thrilled to add to that group (of) Jauan Jennings, Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Chris Conley, Ronnie Bell, Danny Gray, and now you add Ricky Pearsall, Jake Cowing. We made an already strong group even stronger.”

San Francisco looked for a pick in the middle of the first round in any potential Aiyuk trade, but no offers of that caliber came in. The team ultimately stayed in place by keeping him and retaining the No. 31 pick, but using it on Pearsall raised eyebrows. Aiyuk has been tied to trade rumors based on his contract status, whereas moving Samuel could help make an Aiyuk extension (along with one for quarterback Brock Purdy down the road) more feasible.

For that reason, Samuel has also drawn trade interest recently. However, Lynch confirmed that after the draft’s first round had concluded, San Francisco did not give consideration to a trade involving Day 2 or 3 capital. That leaves Aiyuk, Samuel and Jennings (who is also entering a contract year) in place as the team attempts to keep as many skill-position contributors in the fold as possible. Aiyuk is set to play out his fifth-year option, valued at $14.12MM, in 2024; a long-term deal will check in at a much larger price regardless of which team it comes from.

Aiyuk and the 49ers are not believed to be close on extension talks, and the 26-year-old has publicly made his frustrations known. Samuel is on the books for two more years, meanwhile, but his $16.6MM 2025 base salary is not guaranteed. Especially with Pearsall now in the picture, future movement at the WR spot will no doubt be a source of questions and speculation for San Francisco. For now, though, the Aiyuk-Samuel-Jennings trio is set to remain intact.

49ers Did Not Consider Day 2 Trade Involving WRs Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel

One of the top storylines surrounding the 2024 draft has been the uncertain status of 49ers wideouts Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. Both have drawn trade interest, but a deal should no longer be considered likely in the immediate future.

Aiyuk in particular has been discussed in trade talks, and San Francisco reportedly sought a draft pick in the middle of the first round on Thursday to pull off a deal. The 2020 first-rounder is believed to be seeking $25MM per year on a new deal, a steep price to pay for the 49ers or an acquiring team (albeit one in line with the top of the receiver market). Samuel, by contrast, is already attached to a lucrative pact.

The latter is set to carry cap hits of $28.63MM and $24.2MM over the next two years. Samuel was the topic of conversation in trade talks between the 49ers and Patriots, while the Bills and Steelers have also checked in. After setting a price point for both Aiyuk and Samuel too high for an agreement to be reached, thought was not given to a new round of negotiations on Friday.

“We didn’t entertain any of that today,” general manager John Lynch said of contemplating an Aiyuk and/or Samuel trade during the second and third rounds of the draft (via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News). “We’re happy with our wide receiver group. Actually, more than happy. We’re thrilled with it. And thrilled to add Ricky to it to make it stronger.”

Indeed, San Francisco used the No. 31 pick to add Ricky Pearsall to a receiving depth chart already featuring (at least for now) Aiyuk, Samuel and Jauan Jennings. The 49ers are in position to command a high price for the former two contributors given the age and production, and Lynch has publicly stated a desire to hammer out a long-term Aiyuk agreement.

The sides are not believed to be close on terms, however, and the 49ers have several other skill-position commitments on offense and a Brock Purdy extension to budget for as early as next offseason. San Francisco already owns plenty of draft capital in 2024, and adding Day 3 picks would certainly not provide much incentive for a new round of trade talks to take place. With the window for a swap involving a Day 1 pick having closed, it would likely take massive new offer for Lynch’s stance to change.

Bills, Steelers Interested In Deebo Samuel; WR More Likely To Be Dealt Than Brandon Aiyuk?

8:10pm: The Steelers have also shown interest in Samuel, Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He adds, though, that Pittsburgh was unwilling to meet San Francisco’s asking price in a trade. The 49ers’ receiver approach will remain a key storyline to watch with a notable market obviously existing.

Pittsburgh has, of course, long been considered a candidate to pull off a trade at the receiver spot. Dealing away Diontae Johnson created a vacancy in the starting lineup, and to date the team has focused on offensive line (rather than wideout) prospects in the draft. The Steelers may circle back to Samuel if the price were to come down, but in any case they will be a team to monitor.

12:55pm: Passing on a chance to upgrade their receiving corps late in the first round, the Bills have received some attention for being part of trades that allowed the Chiefs and Panthers to made wideout investments. The Bills may have a bigger name in mind.

Buffalo joins New England in being interested in Deebo Samuel, according to the Boston Sports Journal’s Mike Giardi. The Bills are in dire need at the position, having traded Stefon Diggs and having let Gabriel Davis walk (to the Jaguars) in free agency. Samuel appears a live candidate to be moved, even as Brandon Aiyuk trade talks took place Thursday night.

Samuel was also part of that pre-draft report, and Giardi adds it is now more likely the 49ers move the versatile playmaker than Aiyuk. This would make sense given Aiyuk’s age and superior durability; the 2020 first-round pick is two years younger than Samuel, who turned 28 earlier this offseason. But Samuel is tied to a $23.85MM-per-year contract that runs through 2025. Aiyuk is on a fifth-year option, and an acquiring team would likely need to prepare an extension.

The Patriots discussed Samuel with the 49ers on Thursday, but the team held onto both its wideouts. John Lynch said post-draft a trade should not be ruled out. The 49ers are believed to have asked for a mid-first-round pick for Aiyuk; nothing beyond a second-rounder came back in an offer. It is possible the team is now pivoting to a Samuel trade push, which comes two years after rumblings of a deal impacted the 49ers’ 2022 draft. The 49ers hung onto Samuel then, despite two notable offers (from the Jets and Lions), and extended him. As Aiyuk has proven worthy of a big-ticket extension, the team has a decision to make.

As the 49ers — with a Brock Purdy extension on the horizon — contemplate how to handle their increasingly complex WR situation, the Bills need impact players. In an AFC arms race that has seen the Chiefs separate over the past two years — despite Buffalo’s regular-season success at Arrowhead Stadium — the Bills have watched the Chiefs add Marquise Brown and first-rounder Xavier Worthy to their wideout group. The Bills dealt Diggs to the Texans. With Davis’ second contract coming from the Jags, the Bills are down to the likes of Khalil Shakir and UFA pickup Curtis Samuel. Samuel has proven to be in a much higher class.

Still, it will be interesting to see if the 49ers — given where their contention arc resides — bail on the Samuel-Aiyuk pairing a year before they have to. The team would have the option of franchise-tagging Aiyuk in 2025, though Samuel, George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey will be in contract years by then. Rather than unloading Aiyuk now or contemplating a tag-and-trade transaction in an effort to keep the band together for one more season, the 49ers — who drafted Florida wideout Ricky Pearsall at No. 31 — are clearly exploring compensation options for a WR now.

The Bills hold the No. 33 overall pick, while the Patriots sit at No. 34. Buffalo also has its own second-rounder (No. 60). A second-rounder emerged as the prize in the Diggs trade; Samuel is more than two years younger. While Samuel earned All-Pro acclaim in 2021, he has one 1,000-yard season on his resume. The electric run-after-catch performer missed nine games in 2020, four in 2022 and two due to injury (leaving two more contests early) last year. Will the 49ers end up making a preemptive strike tonight?

49ers Sought Mid-First-Round Pick For WR Brandon Aiyuk

The first round’s penultimate pick added more intrigue to the trade drama between the 49ers and Brandon Aiyuk. The defending NFC champions selected Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall at No. 31, bringing in a rookie-contract receiver — albeit one that did not receive much buzz as a Round 1 option — hours after a report surfaced indicating the team held talks involving Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.

No trade materialized, and the 49ers’ ask calls into question how viable a move will be after Round 1’s conclusion. The 49ers targeted a mid-first-round pick for Aiyuk, The Athletic’s Matt Barrows tweets. Aiyuk has not requested a trade, but extension talks between he and the 49ers have not progressed, which remind of the team’s drama with Samuel two years ago.

Aiyuk is seeking a deal worth at least $25MM per year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch; following the $30MM-plus agreements for A.J. Brown and Amon-Ra St. Brown, it would not surprise if his price has climbed this week.

The best tradeoffer to emerge included a second-round pick, Barrows adds. A 2022 Jets offer for Samuel included the No. 10 overall pick, though that was not a straight-up offer — as it included pick swaps — but Aiyuk remains a 49er after Thursday night brought another chapter to this saga. Aiyuk even congratulated GM John Lynch (via text) on choosing Pearsall, whom he played with at Arizona State back in 2019.

You never close the door on a trade,” Lynch said, via Branch. “You always listen. And we have. But we like our group as it stands.”

The Jaguars were among the teams to inquire about Aiyuk, Barrows adds. Jacksonville ended up with LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr. after trading down (via Minnesota), taking one suitor off the board. The Steelers, who chose an O-lineman in Round 1, also inquired about Aiyuk before the draft. Another team that held a mid-first-round pick discussed swapping choices in an Aiyuk deal, per Barrows, but no offer emerged. It should be difficult for the 49ers to pull off a deal involving Day 2 picks, ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner offers, though it perhaps should not be deemed impossible.

It is possible Pearsall profiles as a player who will eventually — perhaps as soon as 2025 — replace either Aiyuk or Samuel. The 49ers have Aiyuk tied to a fifth-year option worth $14.12MM. Lynch said before the draft he would not anticipate an Aiyuk trade, and while the eighth-year GM has spoken of the financial difficulties in play here, the team could opt to keep Aiyuk on the option and reassess this situation in 2025 — perhaps via a tag-and-trade scenario.

Pearsall joins Aiyuk, Samuel and Jauan Jennings as San Francisco’s top WR. The Arizona State and Florida product’s rookie deal will run through 2028, via the fifth-year option. With Brock Purdy extension-eligible in 2025, the 49ers may need to make an Aiyuk-or-Samuel choice, as the contracts of George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey expire in 2026.

Aiyuk, 26, still profiles as a player the 49ers will need if they want to navigate that elusive Super Bowl hurdle; it will be interesting to see if more trade talks emerge on Day 2 or following the draft, as a post-draft extension — along the lines of how the Samuel saga ended in 2022 — may not be in the cards based on the Pearsall pick.

49ers Discussing First-Round Trade Involving WRs Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel

Plenty of speculation has surrounded Brandon Aiyuk recently, and that continues to be the case as the draft approaches. Fellow 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel could also find himself on the trade block.

San Francisco has discussed a move up the board in the first round – perhaps as high as the top 10 in the order – in a trade which would include either Aiyuk or Samuel, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini reports. Despite assurances from general manager John Lynch that the former is expected to stay in place, he will thus remain worth watching closely in the coming hours.

San Francisco is not believed to be close on extension talks with Aiyuk, who has publicly displayed his frustration with the lack of a long-term deal. Citing the similarities of his case to that of Samuel not that long ago, Lynch has offered public confidence the former first-rounder will be retained through the draft. Depending on the market which emerges, though, that could stand to change.

Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle confirms teams have shown interest in Samuel in addition to Aiyuk. The former is on the books for two more years, while the latter is set to play on his $14.12MM fifth-year option in 2024. Keeping Aiyuk in the fold on a major raise would be difficult given the implications of extending another skill-position player before quarterback Brock Purdy becomes eligible for a lucrative new deal of his own.

The 49ers currently own pick No. 31, and as such they could stand to benefit from a notable move up the board. Jumping into the top 10 would incur a major cost, but including Aiyuk or Samuel in any trade would of course create a notable vacancy in the team’s offense. It will be interesting to see how many teams set to pick early or in the middle of the Day 1 order are interested in adding an expensive veteran at the WR position.

Believed to be in the market for a receiver addition, the Steelers have been named as one of the teams which have shown interest in Aiyuk. The 26-year-old had a career year in 2023 (75,1,342-7 statline) and he is poised to remain a focal point on San Francisco’s offense if he remains in place. Whether or not that will be the case is once again a burning question as the draft draws near.

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.

Steelers Still Looking For WR Help, Inquired About Brandon Aiyuk

Despite adding big names at quarterback like Russell Wilson and Justin Fields, the Steelers’ passing attack this year will still depend on their wide receiving corps. After trading away Diontae Johnson and watching Allen Robinson depart in free agency, Pittsburgh has been on a search for another veteran receiver to pair with budding star George Pickens, per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

It’s not like the Steelers haven’t addressed the position since Johnson and Robinson’s departures. The team has added experienced receivers like Van Jefferson and Quez Watkins, but despite strong sophomore campaigns from both players, neither has shown the ability to be a consistent, reliable supporting wide receiver. Perhaps Pittsburgh plans to return Cordarrelle Patterson to his wide receiver roots, but more likely, the team will continue looking to add an experienced veteran.

We’ve seen the Steelers kick the tires on plenty of such free agents so far this offseason. They brought in division-rival Tyler Boyd, who played at nearby Pitt in college, but are reportedly out of the running after making a disappointing offer. The team also brought in former Chargers veteran Mike Williams, who could’ve worked well alongside Pickens after spending years as WR2 behind Keenan Allen, but Williams ultimately landed with Aaron Rodgers and the Jets.

Now, Dulac reports that we can add Brandon Aiyuk to that list of veteran wideouts that have piqued the Steelers’ interest. Aiyuk is not a free agent, so this isn’t a situation in which Pittsburgh can host the 49ers receiver and evaluate him in person. Also, despite the two sides being far apart in extension negotiations, Aiyuk has not delivered a trade request to the 49ers. In fact, San Francisco is reportedly actively rebuffing trade inquiries from outside parties.

As much as the Steelers would like to lure Aiyuk to Pittsburgh, there’s only so much they can do without the 49ers deciding to relent and participate. Until then, Pittsburgh will have to continue taking swings elsewhere. Boyd remains available. As do free agents Hunter Renfrow, Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Gallup, and Michael Thomas. Several veteran names are sitting in free agency. The Steelers just need to determine if any are the right fit for their new-look offense.

49ers Rebuffing Brandon Aiyuk Trade Inquiries

Taking the increasingly common step of unfollowing his team during a contract situation, Brandon Aiyuk has not requested a trade. But the 49ers’ situation complicates his future. And teams are looking into this situation.

Receiver-needy teams have reached out to the 49ers about Aiyuk’s potential availability over the past several months, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. Thus far, per RapSheet (video link), San Francisco has rebuffed those efforts and is moving forward with Aiyuk on the roster. That said, John Lynch has acknowledged the challenges of this process at multiple points this offseason.

[RELATED: Jed York Addresses Brock Purdy Contract]

The draft looms as the calendar’s second trade window of sorts and should be seen as one of the deadlines in this situation. The 49ers are in a good spot contractually for 2024, with Brock Purdy forced to stay on a rookie contract. By 2025, however, the team stands to have a much more complicated situation on its hands. As Purdy becomes extension-eligible, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey are signed to upper-crust or top-market (in McCaffrey’s case) extensions.

Kittle, McCaffrey and Samuel will be in contract years in 2025 as well. That sets up a difficult landscape for the 49ers, who have Aiyuk and Charvarius Ward contract years presently. Aiyuk, 25, led the 49ers in receiving — by a wide margin, with a career-high 1,342 — last year. With the DeVonta Smith contract (three years, $75MM, $51MM in practical guarantees) potentially settling in as the floor for an Aiyuk deal, the 49ers will need to determine their future with their talented wideout tandem.

Although extension talks have begun, the 49ers and Aiyuk — as of late March — were not close on terms. Like the Bengals and Tee Higgins, the 49ers keeping Aiyuk would provide a team on the championship doorstep — no team has ever been closer to a title without winning it than last year’s San Francisco edition — with a better chance of stepping over an elusive hurdle. But the 49ers also faced an eerily similar situation in the past. They responded to the DeForest BucknerArik Armstead situation, which came to a head just after their first Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs, by unloading the more expensive player for a first-round pick.

Indeed, GMs are monitoring this latest San Francisco contract quandary. One anonymous front office boss told the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora he expects the 49ers to move either Aiyuk or Samuel but noted “if Deebo was the guy to go, I think he’d already be gone.” This GM said he would be “shocked” if the 49ers do not move one of their receivers.

The team gave Jauan Jennings a second-round RFA tender in March, but losing Aiyuk would not exactly mean the former seventh-round pick steps into the WR2 role — even if the team is eyeing a Jennings extension. Given how close the 49ers have been over the past three years, the team would seemingly need to add a starter-caliber wideout in the event it did accept a trade offer for Aiyuk.

Multiple factors might keep a trade haul low, which would make 49ers tabling this matter to 2025 understandable. Aiyuk is in the final year of his rookie contract (a $14.12MM fifth-year option); a team needing to sign off on an extension north of where the Eagles went for Smith would naturally decrease the compensation coming back to San Francisco. This draft also features a deep receiver class, which could prompt teams to take their chances with a first- or second-round wideout that will be attached to a rookie contract into the late 2020s.

A tag-and-trade situation could conceivably come up for the 49ers next year, but it is clear teams are looking closely at this storyline ahead of the draft. The Jets and Lions made offers for Samuel during the 2022 draft; the 49ers held onto their versatile weapon and extended him later that summer. After four seasons with Samuel and Aiyuk together, will the 49ers unload the 2020 first-rounder and pivot to a cost-controlled replacement?

WR Notes: Adams, Aiyuk, Bills

Davante Adams has been mentioned in trade speculation on a number of occasions, but new Raiders general manager Tom Telesco has made it clear the team is not looking to find him a new home. Adams himself has offered a similar commitment.

“If I wanted to be gone, I’d be gone by now,” the three-time All-Pro said Sunday during an appearance at his youth camp (h/t Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal). Adams has been connected to the Jets in particular given New York’s addition of Aaron Rodgers last offseason, but the team has made other veteran WR plans. The Jets added Mike Williams on one-year deal after his Chargers release, leaving the Raiders in place to make Adams the focal point of their passing game for a third season.

Adams was among the members of Vegas’ core who endorsed giving Antonio Pierce – after finishing the 2023 campaign as interim head coach – the full-time gig for 2024. That wound up being the case, and the Raiders will no doubt lean heavily on the 31-year-old on offense with running back Josh Jacobs no longer in the fold and, potentially, a rookie quarterback competing for playing time with Aidan O’Connell and Gardner Minshew. Three years remain on Adams’ deal (although no guaranteed salary is in place for 2025 or ’26).

Here are some other WR-related notes from around the league:

  • 49ers standout Brandon Aiyuk has seen his future questioned recently, despite comments from general manager John Lynch confirming the team’s willingness to get a new deal done. With little progress being made on extension talks, the former first-rounder unfollowed the 49ers on Instagram, as noted by NFL Network’s Clayton Holloway. While such a move has become increasingly common over the years during contract disputes, Aiyuk is not eyeing a deal sending him elsewhere. The 26-year-old has not requested a trade, per his agent. Aiyuk is set to earn $14.12MM on his fifth-year option in 2024 absent a more lucrative San Francisco agreement being worked out.
  • General manager Brandon Beane included edge rusher Von Miller as part of the Bills‘ party at least year’s Combine, and the latter intends to become a general manager once his playing days are over. Beane and Miller were linked once again on Friday when the future Hall of Famer posted a video with the caption reading in part: “Brandon Beane arriving to the 2024 NFL draft to trade up for a WR.” The Bills have been named as a team to watch on the receiver front in the draft, with Gabe Davis departing in free agency and Stefon Diggs being dealt to the Texans. While Buffalo has signed Curtis Samuel, the team could use a Day 1 rookie addition. The Bills currently own the 28th overall pick, and a move up the board could give them access to a number of highly-rated wideouts from the celebrated 2024 class.

Latest On Arik Armstead’s 49ers Departure

Needing to clear cap space and with a considerable amount of resources invested in their defensive front already, the 49ers elected to release defensive tackle Arik Armstead last month. San Francisco, which selected Armstead in the first round of the 2015 draft, first offered the Oregon product the opportunity to remain with the club via a pay reduction (he was due to earn a $17.4MM salary in 2024, the final year of his contract).

Armstead declined the Niners’ proposal, and he drew interest from multiple clubs upon reaching the open market. He ultimately scored a three-year contract with the Jaguars, which was initially reported as a $51MM accord. David Lombardi of The Athletic says that the deal is actually worth $43.5MM, though it includes $28MM guaranteed at signing (subscription required).

Regardless of the contract’s maximum value, the Jags were simply prepared to pay significantly more than the 49ers to secure Armstead’s services, as Lombardi writes. In an episode of his Third and Long with Arik Armstead program on YouTube, the player himself confirms that the 49ers offered him a one-year, $6MM contract for 2024, with incentive provisions that could have pushed the total payout to $8MM. While acknowledging the difficulty of the business decisions that NFL clubs often have to make, Armstead nonetheless said he felt “extremely disrespected” by the offer.

San Francisco ultimately replaced Armstead by swinging a trade with the Texans for Maliek Collins, who comes with an $8MM base salary and $8.47MM cap charge in 2024. Per Lombardi, the team hopes to put the money saved by the Armstead release into a new contract for wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, though the latest reporting on that topic indicates that the 49ers and Aiyuk are not close on their extension talks. Aiyuk is under club control through 2024 via the fifth-year option.

In addition to Collins, the 49ers further buttressed their front seven by signing Leonard Floyd and Yetur Gross-Matos, whose modest 2024 cap numbers check in at $3.4MM and $3.2MM, respectively. While Gross-Matos, a second-round pick of the Panthers in 2020, did not live up to expectations during his four-year run in Charlotte, Niners GM John Lynch said the 26-year-old edge defender generated significant free agent interest from around the league.

“I thought (Gross-Matos’ agent) handled it like a house in Los Altos,” Lynch said (via Lombardi). “He priced it low, then he got the whole league interested and then everybody (got in on the bidding). Yetur was the guy that we signed that we had the most people in the league say, ‘Man, we were in on him.’ A lot of guys were after him.”

Lynch believes Gross-Matos has a real opportunity to thrive in San Francisco’s 4-3 alignment, which will allow the team to utilize his versatility and put him in the best position to succeed.