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Tim Heitman/Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

CeeDee Lamb Separates From 49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk in Taking the Silent Approach

Jul 8, 2024 at 3:20 PM

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Dallas Cowboys star wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and San Francisco 49ers wideout Brandon Aiyuk are coming off career-best seasons, yet both find themselves in contract limbo.

Entering their fifth year, both players want to bypass their current agreement and receive a big payday that would place their salary value among the NFL's elite pass catchers.

Each is contractually tied to his team for the upcoming season under a team-exercised fifth-year option. Aiyuk and Lamb skipped their respective teams' mandatory mini-camps, subjecting them to over $100,000 in fines.

Aiyuk has been vocal on social media, expressing his dissatisfaction with the state of negotiations and feeling disrespected. In contrast, Lamb, has taken a silent approach.

Lamb will host his annual youth football camps in Texas on July 9, 10, and 20. However, don't expect any grandstanding.

"It's all about the kids and giving back to the community," Lamb said. When pressed on the matter, Lamb took to Twitter earlier today to clarify that he won't entertain contract questions.

"I'm not speaking about contract negotiations. You'll get zero answers. It's all about the kids," Lamb said.

To which a wry Twitter follower responded, "Yo CeeDee! My kids have been wondering about contract negotiations."

Lamb ranked second in the NFL in receiving yards last year, while Aiyuk placed seventh. Although, Lamb was targeted 76 more times than Aiyuk during the regular season.

Lamb is the 66th highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL, while Aiyuk's salary places him 71st among the league's 392 wide receivers.

Lamb was selected 17th in the 2020 draft, and Aiyuk eight picks later. Because he was selected earlier, the total value of Lamb's rookie contract and fifth-year guarantee is greater than Aiyuk's, as dictated by the league's collective bargaining agreement.

Given an NFL player's high risk of injury and relatively short career span, who can blame them for wanting to be paid fair market value?

Like Aiyuk, it's unclear how far Lamb and the Cowboys are apart in negotiations or if they are even talking.
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