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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Fowler: ‘Not a lot of optimism’ surrounding ‘stalled’ contract talks between 49ers, Brandon Aiyuk

Jun 16, 2024 at 11:33 AM

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There is little expectation for significant progress in the contract talks between the San Francisco 49ers and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. The next critical deadline for the team is the start of training camp at the end of July. Ideally, the 49ers want Aiyuk on the practice field with his quarterback, Brock Purdy, to continue building on the chemistry that led to Aiyuk's team-leading and career-high 1,342 receiving yards last season.

Aiyuk skipped the 49ers' mandatory minicamp earlier this week, missing the two practice sessions that concluded the team's offseason program. This has subjected him to fines totaling $101,716, which will increase if he doesn't arrive for the start of training camp. However, his absence sends a strong message to team decision-makers: Pay up before I show up.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler provided an update on the contract negotiations, and it sounds like nothing has changed. During a Sunday segment on SportsCenter, the NFL insider reported that "things have stalled a bit."

"They're going to see what happens over the next six weeks leading into training camp," Fowler said, per Bleacher Report's Joseph Zucker. "The 49ers want Aiyuk long-term in the fold, but so far, they have not been willing to show that they're going to meet the market of wide receiver, which we're seeing these massive numbers. Amon-Ra St. Brown in Detroit, $30 million, Justin Jefferson well above that."

Aiyuk is scheduled to earn $14.124 million on a team-exercised fifth-year option, less than half his perceived market value. According to Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle, the 49ers have reportedly offered Aiyuk a deal that will pay him in the range of $26 million annually. Still, the receiver and his agent know they can demand more.

The wide receiver market has continued to explode, and the 49ers' tendency to take a slower approach to contract negotiations will undoubtedly cost them, assuming they can get a deal done.

"Aiyuk believes he's a top guy, and so, something's got to give," Fowler continued. "And so, he's worked himself into a top-10 receiver conversation. We'll see. Not a lot of momentum right now. Not a lot of optimism."
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