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NFL exec: Draft could impact 49ers’ contract talks with Brandon Aiyuk

Apr 3, 2024 at 9:11 AM--



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Last week, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch disclosed that the team was actively negotiating with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk to reach a contract extension. However, a report from Mike Garafolo of NFL Network indicated that the two parties were "not close" to reaching an agreement.

No one expects a deal to get done before the NFL Draft, which kicks off later this month. Historically, this 49ers' front office has tended to secure significant contract extensions later in the offseason, closer to training camp. That was the case with tight end George Kittle in 2020, linebacker Fred Warner in 2021, and wide receiver Deebo Samuel in 2022. Last year, defensive end Nick Bosa didn't ink his deal until the days leading up to the regular season.

Speaking to Mike Sando of The Athletic, one unnamed NFL executive believes Aiyuk is crucial to the 49ers' future success. However, the executive also believes that the impending draft may influence the team's approach as negotiations with Aiyuk enter the final stretch.

"Aiyuk is so integral to what they do, more so than Deebo Samuel is, that I'd try to get something done with him before Justin Jefferson and these other receivers get deals and the price goes up," the executive explained. "Because this is a deep receiver draft, they may try to do it in reverse. If there is something they can get done from a draft standpoint, then it could be moving Aiyuk or knowing their feet are to the fire and they have to extend him."

In preparation for the draft, the 49ers have been diligently evaluating wide receiver prospects and are set to host several on pre-draft visits, including Javon Baker of UCF, Malachi Corley of Western Kentucky, and Brenden Rice of USC.

Aiyuk is set to earn $14.124 million on his fifth-year deal in 2024. While Lynch expressed that the 49ers are okay with the receiver playing on that fifth-year option, the preference remains to secure him with a long-term contract.

Lynch emphasized, "There's a number of different directions that it could go, but we appreciate the heck out of Brandon and who he is as a player. We want him to be a part of the Niners, so we're going to work towards making that a reality."
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