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When will Jauan Jennings report to the 49ers?

May 27, 2024 at 10:46 AM

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The San Francisco 49ers kicked off organized team activities (OTAs) last week, allowing the media to observe one practice. One wide receiver was noticeably absent.

No, I'm not talking about Brandon Aiyuk. His absence was expected as his agent continues to negotiate a contract extension for the star wideout.

Jauan Jennings was also missing. While it was initially surprising not to see him with his teammates, his absence makes sense considering his situation. The 49ers tendered the restricted free agent a one-year contract worth $4.89 million, but the veteran receiver has yet to sign the deal. Since this phase of the offseason program is voluntary, Jennings isn't required to rejoin his team yet.

That doesn't mean Jennings isn't working hard. He's just doing so away from the Santa Clara facility, as shown in the Instagram post below from last week.

Jennings undoubtedly wants a contract extension from the 49ers, with many speculating that this is why he is absent from OTAs. However, he will eventually sign his tendered deal. Jennings doesn't have any options besides the 49ers trading him, as the deadline for other teams to sign restricted free agents has passed.

The good news for Jennings is that he is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next year, so a bigger payday might be around the corner. While the 49ers have expressed interest in keeping the former seventh-round draft pick, the team also used the No. 31 overall pick to acquire wide receiver Ricky Pearsall. We'll learn the rookie's role as the season progresses.

When asked about Jennings in February, general manager John Lynch stated, "Jauan is really important to what we do. I think he continues to show that. If the tender is the vehicle to keep him around for another year … I think we're also interested in extending him out. There may be an opportunity to do that. We'll just have to see where that goes and if we can come to an agreement there."

A month later, head coach Kyle Shanahan echoed Lynch's comments, expressing hope that the receiver will remain with the 49ers for a long time.

"Jauan's always been a baller," Shanahan shared. "I think you watch his college tape, the way he plays, Jauan's always been this way. He's a gamer, plays so physically. I think he's only gotten more and more physical each year, the style of how he plays, how big he is.

"I think people sleep on him a little bit and don't realize how big and physical he is until they get him on game day, and he catches a lot of guys off guard."

Jennings has earned the respect of his teammates on both offense and defense. In January, linebacker Fred Warner said the receiver played the game how you want it to be played, with the physicality of a hard-hitting defender.

"I think he's one of the best football players on our team," Warner added. "He doesn't get all the attention or the limelight, but he's going to be there in the clutch situations when you need him."

The media's next opportunity to observe practice will be on Wednesday. The 49ers are scheduled to hold a mandatory minicamp starting June 4. We'll see if players like Aiyuk and Jennings make an appearance then.
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