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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

NFL insider sums up the 49ers and Brandon Aiyuk situation perfectly

Jun 24, 2024 at 4:51 PM

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The situation between the San Francisco 49ers and their star wide receiver, Brandon Aiyuk, has generated significant speculation. Aiyuk is seeking a contract extension after watching several of his peers secure lucrative deals this offseason. Aiyuk is set to earn $14.124 million in 2024 under a team-exercised fifth-year option, limiting his leverage in negotiations.

Aiyuk intensified media and fan discussion last week by sharing a video of a conversation with Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels, a former Arizona State teammate, in which he said, "They said they don't want me back ... I swear."

RELATED Report: Brandon Aiyuk meeting with 49ers amid contract dispute

Many reports since then have stated that this could not be further from the truth. The 49ers do want Aiyuk on their roster for the foreseeable future. The two sides simply have not been able to agree on how much the wideout should earn.

Aiyuk is likely seeking something close to $30 million annually, while the 49ers' most recent offer was reportedly around $26 million per year.

News broke today that Aiyuk and the 49ers are meeting in Santa Clara, with the wide receiver reportedly requesting the get-together. This has naturally sparked more speculation about whether this meeting could lead to a finalized deal or something else entirely.

NFL insider Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team perfectly summed up the situation via a social media post.

Meirov highlights that the 49ers have shown no interest in trading Aiyuk. In fact, teams inquired about the wide receiver around the draft, but San Francisco repeatedly rejected offers. It would have taken a lot for another team to pry Aiyuk away.

"They have him under contract for the upcoming season, and acquiring draft capital for 2025 or beyond does not help them in their pursuit of a Super Bowl this season. Having Aiyuk on the roster does," Meirov states.

In addition to the fifth-year option in 2024, the 49ers can use the franchise tag on Aiyuk in 2025 and 2026, giving them significant leverage in negotiations. Despite this, the 49ers would likely prefer to reach an agreement with Aiyuk, making everyone happy. However, both sides may need to compromise.

ESPN's Adam Schefter recently shared that the two sides were close to a deal before the wide receiver market exploded this offseason.

"I think the number might have shifted in Brandon Aiyuk's mind," Schefter added. "... The Niners never were serious about trading him, and they want him back. But the problem is they can't get a deal done right now, so Brandon Aiyuk is interpreting that as they don't want me anymore."

Meirov noted, "Keep in mind: It was just a couple of years ago when Deebo Samuel publicly requested a trade and then agreed to an extension a few months later."

The situation remains fluid, but there is hope that the 49ers and Aiyuk can find common ground and secure the talented receiver's future with the team.
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