placeholder image

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Signing Brandon Aiyuk to a contract extension should be 49ers’ top offseason priority

Feb 13, 2024 at 10:37 AM

Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
Super Bowl 58 showcased that the San Francisco 49ers' roster has room for improvement despite possessing one of the most talent-rich units in the NFL. The right side of the offensive line could use some reinforcement. The cornerback position opposite Charvarius Ward might need addressing. Additionally, the 49ers' run defense struggled during the postseason.

However, the offseason focus should center on wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, the latest star player due for a contract extension. With the team exercising its fifth-year option on the wideout, Aiyuk is signed through the upcoming season. Now, the question remains whether both sides can reach an agreement.

While the 49ers have been fortunate in previous years, signing their star players to contract extensions near the start of training camp, last year's negotiations with Nick Bosa's representatives lingered dangerously close to the beginning of the season.

The 49ers currently have eight players averaging $15 million or more per season, and Aiyuk will likely join this elite group. How soon that will happen remains the question. Ten players, including Aiyuk with his guaranteed $14.12 million, account for over $211 million of the team's 2024 salary cap, which is expected to be around $240 million—perhaps slightly more. The team needs to ensure there are sufficient funds to allocate across the rest of the roster while keeping Aiyuk happy.

Is Aiyuk happy?

Well, probably not at the moment. In his first Super Bowl appearance, the wide receiver caught only three passes for 49 yards. He had an opportunity to secure a crucial touchdown in overtime had defensive lineman Chris Jones not blasted through the offensive line to disrupt quarterback Brock Purdy.

On Monday, Aiyuk posted a cryptic message on Instagram, stating, "Don't forget what got you there," accompanied by an eyeball emoji.

Many would assume this was Aiyuk indicating to the 49ers that they need to be prepared to pay up. However, the receiver's girlfriend took to TikTok, saying, "This might be the last day we touch foot on Levi's Stadium because we might not be out here next season."

This statement could be interpreted in various ways. It could imply that Aiyuk is discontented with the 49ers, or it could simply reflect the unpredictable nature of the NFL, where anything can happen. Without anything else, most rational individuals might lean toward the latter.

However, another member of Aiyuk's inner circle, Draysean Hudson, was more blunt, suggesting that the receiver won't play for the 49ers next season, stating, "This is the exact reason why we leaving San Francisco. Thank you 49ers for drafting my brother we are forever grateful. BA to Vegas."

He added, "Why does your All Pro 1300 yard receiver have 3 catches in the Super Bowl??"

Understandably, tensions are high following the most disappointing defeat of Aiyuk's and most 49ers players' careers. If the receiver is integral to the team's future, there's no doubt that general manager John Lynch and company will make every effort to reach an agreement.

The 49ers possess the talent to rebound from the gut-wrenching loss and mount another run at Super Bowl glory next season. It's difficult to envision Aiyuk not being a part of that.

Related News


More San Francisco 49ers News

placeholder image

49ers and WR Brandon Aiyuk reportedly not close on a new contract

By Marc Adams
May 19

The San Francisco 49ers need wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. And Aiyuk needs the 49ers. But the two sides are reportedly not close on a new deal that would keep the star receiver in San Francisco for years to come. Sunday morning, on SportsCenter, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that the 49ers and Aiyuk are not close in contract negotiations, leading many to wonder if Aiyuk will hold out (not show up) or hold in (show up but not participate) for the remainder of the offseason and even training camp. "This one's tricky because he was implicated in some trade talks around the draft," Fowler said. "He wants a new contract; has one year left. I'm told the 49ers certainly are open to doing a deal, but talks have not progressed enough where things are close. And

placeholder image

Report: Brandon Aiyuk expected to skip 49ers OTAs as contract talks remain far apart

By David Bonilla
May 21

It's hardly surprising news, but NFL Network's Mike Garafolo confirmed what many anticipated: San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is unlikely to report to Santa Clara for organized team activities (OTAs), which commenced yesterday. The team's first practice open to the media will be held this afternoon. Garafolo points out that the two sides appear to remain far apart in the negotiation process, with Aiyuk seeking a long-term deal that makes him one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL. "So don't expect to see Aiyuk around for anything that's voluntary," Garafolo shared on NFL Network's "The Insiders" show. "And let's see about the mandatory stuff as well with him because you know he wants this done. He doesn't want to have to play on the last

placeholder image

Does 49ers QB Brock Purdy need Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel for success?

By David Bonilla
May 15

Rumors circulated before and during the 2024 NFL Draft about the possibility of the San Francisco 49ers losing one of their top two wide receivers—Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel. Such a scenario could have significantly impacted the team's success in the upcoming season and posed a potential blow for quarterback Brock Purdy, who has thrived alongside the dynamic duo on the field. However, none of these speculations came to fruition. Both Aiyuk and Samuel remain on the roster, at least for another season, though their future beyond that remains uncertain. Aiyuk is seeking a contract extension that would position him among the highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL. At the same time, Samuel already commands a significant salary following a deal rework in 2022.

placeholder image

49ers OTAs: Ricky Pearsall could benefit from Brandon Aiyuk's absence

By David Bonilla
May 20

While the San Francisco 49ers reported for organized team activities (OTAs) today, reporters won't get a glimpse of practice until tomorrow. That is the first and only session this week open to the media. Everyone will be on the lookout for wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who isn't required to report as this phase of the offseason remains voluntary. Aiyuk and the 49ers are still negotiating a contract extension, but reports over the weekend indicate that the two sides remain far apart. "I'm told the 49ers certainly are open to doing a deal, but talks have not progressed enough where things are close," ESPN's Jeremy Fowler stated. "And so, is he going to show up for their workouts?


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone