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

Marc Adams
May 19, 2024 at 11:56 AM

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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 so, is he going to show up for their workouts? Hard to tell right now. The market is pretty set for him. Amon-Ra St. Brown in Detroit did that deal recently, about $28 million a year. So, that's something for Aiyuk and the 49ers to work off of but I'm told they're not quite there yet."

Hearing the lack of progress on a new deal should come as no surprise. The 49ers typically do this in contract negotiations. They normally wait until training camp, or right before it, to come to agreements with star players. It happened with tight end George Kittle, linebacker Fred Warner, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, and edge rusher Nick Bosa. It's not that they set out to wait until training camp, it's just that the deadline of the looming regular season seems to spur an agreement.

Bosa didn't reach his deal with the team until a matter of days before the week one trip to Pittsburgh last season. Could Aiyuk's deal take that long? Samuel and Bosa both have said their contract issues affected their play that season. So the 49ers and Aiyuk need to reach an agreement sooner rather than later.

It's also important for the two sides to agree soon to dispel any rumors of Aiyuk being traded. There were rumblings leading up to the draft that the 49ers could trade Aiyuk or Samuel. And when the 49ers drafted two wide receivers in April, it only fueled those rumors. But GM John Lynch, and head coach Kyle Shanahan, have repeatedly said there are no plans to trade Aiyuk or Samuel. And while it seems unlikely that Aiyuk will be moved at this point, it would ease the minds of 49ers fans everywhere to have number 11 ready to roll before training camp.

The 49ers begin OTAs (organized team activities) on Monday. While it's uncertain whether or not Aiyuk will show up, he is not expected to work with the team until he has a new contract.
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