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49ers’ Kyle Shanahan, Deebo Samuel share perspectives on Brandon Aiyuk situation

Jun 4, 2024 at 1:05 PM

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Deebo Samuel understands what his San Francisco 49ers teammate, Brandon Aiyuk, is going through. Just a couple of years ago, Samuel, now sporting a slimmer No. 1 jersey on the practice field, was in a similar situation. Samuel and the 49ers eventually reached a contract extension agreement.

Samuel can only offer advice to Aiyuk as last year's leading receiver awaits his own deal, which will likely position him among the NFL's highest-paid wideouts.

Samuel acknowledged that he remains in close contact with Aiyuk and provides as much advice as possible.

"I know this is a stressful time and he's done a tremendous job throughout his career here," Samuel told reporters today. "And when it comes to things like this, it gets tough, and some things you kind of take personal. Overall, it's just a stressful process, to be honest with you."

Meanwhile, head coach Kyle Shanahan is focused on what he can control, leaving the negotiation process to general manager John Lynch and the front office. Today, the 49ers kicked off their only mandatory minicamp of the offseason program, and Aiyuk is not in attendance.

Shanahan noted that he might check on the status of any negotiations when his players aren't in the building. However, since work with the players kicked off, that is no longer the case. One might think the coach would push for the negotiations to move faster. That's not Shanahan's style.

"That stuff takes time and everything, but now, especially with guys in practices, minicamp stuff, I don't ask about it at all," Shanahan admitted.

When asked about Aiyuk during organized team activities (OTAs), Shanahan wasn't too concerned about his wide receiver's absence during the voluntary work. Now that a mandatory portion has started, the coach would love to have Aiyuk around but understands how this process works.

"Some guys come because they want to avoid a fine, and some don't," Shanahan commented. "But regardless, it doesn't change anything when those guys have come. We know what the process is. We know what the business part is. That's just how they decide how they want to handle this week."

Several wide receivers have secured significantly richer deals since Samuel signed his contract extension. He's not jealous, though. The veteran player loves seeing his hard-working peers get what they deserve.

When asked how the stress of his own negotiations impacted him, Samuel responded, "At the end of the day, you want to get what you deserve. And at the end of the day, you hope it happens, but it's not going to happen in the timely manner that you want it to happen. It's just a waiting game, and in this situation, you just let his agent communicate with them, and they communicate back, and it's just a back and forth for a long time."

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