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Pelissero: Right now, arrows point toward Brandon Aiyuk remaining with 49ers in 2024

Jun 20, 2024 at 10:08 AM

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The San Francisco 49ers and Brandon Aiyuk remain at a stalemate and won't come to an agreement on a contract extension unless one or both sides are willing to compromise. Aiyuk is set to earn $14.124 million on a team-exercised fifth-year option, significantly below the market value for a top wide receiver, especially given the recent surge in salaries.

Aiyuk is likely seeking a contract in the range of $30 million annually, more than double his scheduled earnings for 2024. The 49ers' last contract offer was reportedly around $26 million annually.

Aiyuk made headlines this week by posting a video on social media where he tells Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels, a former Arizona State teammate, "They said they don't want me back ... I swear."

During an interview on the "Rich Eisen Show," NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero discussed the video, noting how staged it appeared, with someone recording the conversation between Aiyuk and Daniels as if it were planned.

Regarding the negotiations, Pelissero said, "Listen, the 49ers have spent the offseason trying to get a contract done. He has the same agent, actually, as [Dolphins QB] Tua Tagovailoa. They haven't been able, to this point, to figure out exactly what that number should be. We've seen all these massive contracts get done. [Lions WR] Amon-Ra St. Brown at [$28 million annually], [Vikings WR Justin] Jefferson at [$35 million]."

Pelissero believes Aiyuk aims to land somewhere between those figures.

"If you're the 49ers, you're saying you haven't had the productivity that Amon-Ra St. Brown has," Pelissero continued. "It's not that we don't want you back. If he interprets 'Hey, we're not going to give you $34 million a year' as 'We don't want you back,' that's fine, and that's Brandon Aiyuk's right. The reality is he's under contract for about $14 million this season with the 49ers."

Pelissero also noted the interest other teams expressed in Aiyuk around the draft. However, no team made an offer enticing enough for the 49ers to trade the talented receiver. The insider believes it would have taken a first-round draft pick, and probably more, depending on the selection's position.

"Well, now the draft is gone," Pelissero commented. "The 49ers were in the Super Bowl [last season]. They're pressing to try to win it all in 2024. The idea that they're now going to flip around and just get rid of Brandon Aiyuk seems a little bit convenient to a player who obviously has the relationship with Jay Daniels going back to their Arizona State days."

Pelissero added, "I can't sit here and say for certain that Brandon Aiyuk will be a member of the 49ers this season. I also think, right now, it's hard to imagine that he's not. Anything can happen, but he either needs to show up for training camp, or failing that, for the season, or else he's going to be missing out on close to a million-dollar paycheck every week. If he plays out this season, he probably gets tagged in 2025."

At that point, if a deal seems unlikely, the 49ers might start considering a trade.

Pelissero concluded, "We'll see where things go when they reconvene closer to training camp [on July 23], but I would say, right now, the arrows are pointing toward Brandon Aiyuk being a part of the team in 2024, and then we'll see."

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