placeholder image

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN analyst on Brandon Aiyuk: 49ers shouldn’t pay two receivers top dollar

Apr 9, 2024 at 3:30 PM

Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
ESPN analyst Matt Miller understands the perspective of San Francisco 49ers fans. After all, he has been a fan of the team since he was a kid. Seeing any of your favorite players leave and put on another uniform is tough.

It's also difficult to pay everyone, and Miller knows that. It's not a formula for successful roster building, including paying two wide receivers top dollar.

The 49ers are trying to negotiate a contract extension with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. The team invested heavily in another receiver, Deebo Samuel, just two years ago. Is allowing each of them to consume a significant chunk of the salary cap feasible for a team that hopes to continue being competitive and win Super Bowls?

"I have to separate the fan part of my brain, who doesn't want to see him (Aiyuk) leave, from the team-building part of my brain, the analytical part," Miller told Al Sacco on the 49ers Webzone "No Huddle" podcast. "I wouldn't pay him. I wouldn't.

"Now, I will say this: I would have paid Aiyuk before I paid Deebo. And I understand, at the time, that would have been a hot take. But as much as I love Deebo, he's been banged up since college. It's just his play style. He takes a lot of punishment. So at the time, I thought Aiyuk was a better long-term play just because of play style."

Miller notes that the 49ers seemingly made their choice in 2022. While he would hate to see either player with another team, it's difficult to imagine San Francisco investing that much money into just two players.

"If you had a year one rookie quarterback, you could afford to do it and make it work," Miller added. "I think it gets a little bit harder now that Brock [Purdy] has some years under his belt. You're going to have to pay him, and you're trying to forecast that out."

Several 49ers players, including defensive end Nick Bosa and running back Christian McCaffrey, are already earning the most money at their positions. Trent Williams is among the top-paid offensive linemen in the NFL.

"It's like, something's got to give," Miller said. "And I think wide receiver is one of those positions where you can get immediate impact from a rookie. There's guys, first round, second round, third round, who come in and are great players ... So I think that's where it would suck to see Brandon Aiyuk playing for another team, but you have to understand, that's how teams are built in this day and age.

"You get a young quarterback, and you support him. And when that young quarterback elevates, it's his turn to support the players around him. And that's where San Francisco's at in that timeline right now."


More San Francisco 49ers News

placeholder image

Analyst declares 49ers the 'best team in football, and it's not even close'

By David Bonilla
May 16

The Kansas City Chiefs might have clinched back-to-back Super Bowl victories, including February's overtime triumph over the San Francisco 49ers, but one NFL analyst won't declare Andy Reid's squad the best in the league heading into a new season. That distinction goes to the Super Bowl runner-up. The NFL unveiled its complete 2024 schedule on Wednesday. When asked which Super Bowl participant has the best chance of returning to the big game in the upcoming season, Fox Sports analyst Craig Carton didn't hesitate to respond, "San Francisco." "They're the best team in football, and it's not even close," he continued. "They're the best team, not just in football, they're the best team in the NFC. There's three or four teams that are obviously going to give them a

placeholder image

PFF analyst underwhelmed by 49ers' offseason efforts

By David Bonilla
May 16

The San Francisco 49ers are coming off a disappointing Super Bowl defeat against the Kansas City Chiefs, but they still boast one of the NFL's best rosters, led by promising young quarterback Brock Purdy. Following free agency and the NFL Draft, general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan may believe the 49ers are better today than they were a few months ago. However, Pro Football Focus analyst Trevor Sikkema would disagree. While handing out offseason grades for all 32 teams, Sikkema sees a little improvement for the 49ers. "The Niners didn't make a huge splash in free agency but signed some core players in Leonard Floyd, Yetur

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 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


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone