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Kyle Shanahan: 49ers hope to keep Brandon Aiyuk, Brock Purdy together

Mar 26, 2024 at 7:28 AM--

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Last week, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan ran into his wide receiver, Brandon Aiyuk, while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas.

"He was randomly at our hotel. I don't think he wanted to be," the coach shared on Tuesday while speaking to reporters at the NFL owners meetings.

The 49ers are currently negotiating a long-term extension with Aiyuk to ensure he remains with the team for the foreseeable future. However, with it only being March, it's challenging to predict how everything will unfold. Typically, under the leadership of Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, the 49ers have reached agreements with their star players closer to training camp in July.

Lynch stated yesterday that the 49ers are actively negotiating with their wide receiver, who is signed through the upcoming season thanks to the team-exercised fifth-year option. Obviously, both sides would prefer to agree to a new deal before Aiyuk returns to the field.

Aiyuk has not distanced himself from the organization. Shanahan stated, "I've seen him in the office a couple of times, but B.A. is doing good. Hopefully, we'll get this done sooner than later."

Shanahan acknowledged that he's able to maintain a good relationship with his players, even as they negotiate contracts that will significantly impact their and their families' quality of life. During the offseason, he removes himself from the situation and lets the front office and the players' representatives work out the details.

Since the season ended, the coach has seen Aiyuk a couple of times, and the encounter has been positive each time.

"You've just got to be patient," Shanahan explained. "You've got to let it play itself out, not get involved in it. And usually when you're in a situation like we are, where you got a real good player who wants to be here, and we want the player to be here extremely bad, too, what I found with us is it doesn't always happen right away. But it's a matter of time before it works out."

The 49ers believe it's crucial to keep Aiyuk and their young quarterback, Brock Purdy, together. The receiver has been a key contributor in the passing game, leading the team with 1,342 receiving yards last season. With Aiyuk as a receiving outlet on offense, Purdy was an MVP nominee and set a new franchise record for single-season passing yards with 4,280.

"That's huge," Shanahan acknowledged. "I mean, it's hard to be successful at quarterback if you don't have real good receivers. So it starts there with Brandon, and I think that's real big for Brock in his future, making sure we got a good group for him going forward."

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