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49ers unfazed by Brandon Aiyuk’s absence; Brock Purdy opens up about draft day jitters

May 21, 2024 at 4:02 PM

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The San Francisco 49ers kicked off organized team activities (OTAs) this week, and star wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk was the most noticeable absentee. However, his absence wasn't unexpected. Aiyuk and the 49ers reportedly remain far apart in their contract extension negotiations, and this portion of the offseason remains voluntary.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked how he feels about Aiyuk not being around for OTAs.

"The same as I do about all these guys that aren't here," Shanahan responded. "I mean, I wish they were here, but it's something that's part of the business. Anytime it's part the business part, you try to respect it, stay out of it as much as possible, and look forward to the days when we can just focus on football."

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One player who would benefit significantly from Aiyuk's presence is quarterback Brock Purdy. This is his first full offseason with the team. The 24-year-old didn't get many practice reps as a rookie in 2022 as he tried to make the 53-man roster as a backup. Last year, Purdy spent the offseason recovering from surgery and didn't get to throw to his teammates until training camp.

Purdy was asked how important it is to resolve the Aiyuk situation so the receiver can get back on the practice field.

"I think it's extremely important," Purdy declared. "He's a playmaker, love throwing to him, love B.A. as a person. So, yeah, it's definitely important. I've said this before: it's out of my control. But for me, I'm showing up every day trying to get better with the new guys, and the guys that are here, and that is what it is. But hopefully, it gets settled soon."

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Purdy admitted that he was nervous during the draft when trade rumors were swirling as the media speculated about the futures of Aiyuk and wide receiver Deebo Samuel. The quarterback hopes to keep both of his offensive weapons on the roster.

"The draft is going on, and obviously, you're excited to get guys that you're drafting," Purdy shared. "But at the same time, it's like, 'Dang, dude, we could have some kind of trade stuff happen.' But like I said, all that's out of my control. I was sort of just sitting there, waiting to see what our team was going to do and everything.

"And my job is to show up and rip it to the open guy and try to win games, so that's my mindset with it. But I do love my boys, and I obviously hope that we can all continue to play together."

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