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Insider shares what 49ers have likely offered Brandon Aiyuk

Jun 6, 2024 at 3:38 PM

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The San Francisco 49ers are eager to sign Brandon Aiyuk to a long-term deal, believing he can continue to be a number-one receiver and a focal point in an offense filled with playmakers. However, the negotiations aren't progressing as smoothly as both sides had hoped.

Aiyuk didn't report to the 49ers' mandatory minicamp this week, subjecting himself to possible fines. The receiver is looking at the big picture, knowing that his absence sends a message and could make him money in the long run. About $100,000 in potential fines is a drop in the bucket when he is looking to become one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL.

The Minnesota Vikings recently signed Justin Jefferson to a market-resetting contract averaging $35 million annually. Three other receivers are averaging $30 million or more on their deals, according to Aiyuk would undoubtedly love to join that company.

After handing out several massive deals over the last four years and knowing that their young quarterback, Brock Purdy, will soon consume more of the team's salary cap than any other player, San Francisco would prefer to keep Aiyuk's salary from reaching those heights.

Speaking to Bay Area radio station KNBR, insider Michael Silver shared what he's heard regarding the type of numbers the 49ers have been offering Aiyuk.

"I'm hearing maybe their offer's in the $26 million range, which, you know, it's certainly not Justin Jefferson money, nor should it be, but it's closer to that DeVonta Smith, Amon-Ra St. Brown, that next tier down," Silver told Greg Papa and John Lund.

If Aiyuk doesn't want to accept the offer, he could continue to hold out, risk further fines, and lose out on accruing a year, facing the same dilemma next offseason. Alternatively, he could play out his fifth-year option at a salary of $14.124 million. However, the 49ers can still use the franchise tag on him next year, preventing him from hitting free agency.

How do the 49ers view Aiyuk and his value to the roster?

"They, I think, believe that he's a really good player, who they've developed and they would like to have," Silver shared. "And they think he's one of the better receivers in the league, kind of on that next tier, obviously. Nowhere near, in my opinion, Justin Jefferson or maybe the other guys you talk about on that very top tier. But they think he's really good and really good right now."

Silver believes the 49ers value Aiyuk somewhere around that $26-30 million range, but certainly not above those figures. Still, it isn't easy to approach the higher end of that range knowing that you have to plan for the future.

"So I think that's how the 49ers value him," Silver continued. "But if I were Aiyuk's agent, I'd say, 'Well, you value him more than that because you didn't want to trade him unless you got a [first-round draft pick], at least. So if you think he's worth a one, then you think he's one of these guys. So, yeah, pay him at least what [Jaylen] Waddle and St. Brown are getting, if not more, because you're telling us that's how you value him.'

"And the 49ers, I think, would rebut that by going, 'Yo, we love him, but hey, nobody came up and tried to trade for him and pay for him, and we have this fifth-year option, we have franchise tags, so your leverage is not what it would be if you were just free on the open market.'"

If Aiyuk does sign a contract extension, like many, Silver believes that would be telling of Deebo Samuel's future, especially after the 49ers drafted Ricky Pearsall with the No. 31 overall pick.

"Then that means Aiyuk is staying at a high number, Ricky Pearsall has been drafted and is the future, and they're not going to pay Deebo next year along with that," Silver stated. "So we know that he's on a farewell tour, which is dicey because, again, targets are going to be impacted. He's not going to love it, and he needs to have production for his next contract with a different team."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Silver below.

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