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49ers GM Hopes to Get Brandon Aiyuk Contract Extension Done Sooner Rather Than Later
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By Associated Press
Published 1 month ago on
April 23, 2024

49ers GM optimistic about Brandon Aiyuk's contract extension. Aiyuk seeks a long-term deal as Lynch aims to secure the star receiver's future in San Francisco. (Wikipedia)

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SANTA CLARA — Brandon Aiyuk is staying away from the San Francisco 49ers facility at the start of the offseason program as he seeks a lucrative long-term contract.

That doesn’t mean that the 49ers don’t believe he will be part of the team when the season starts. General manager John Lynch is hopeful of getting a deal done to keep Aiyuk in San Francisco for several more seasons.

“I’ve communicated on many occasions our wish and our wish is that he’s here and a part of the Niners for the rest of his career,” Lynch said Monday. “We’re working through that.”

Aiyuk is set to play on the fifth-year option worth about $14.1 million this season and wants a long-term contract that would pay him significantly more money based on his production so far in his career. Several of the top receivers have contracts in the $25 million a year range.

The Niners have done a good job rewarding their homegrown stars, handing out megadeals the past four offseasons to George Kittle, Fred Warner, Deebo Samuel and Nick Bosa.

The last two of those deals pushed past the start of training camp, with Samuel missing the first few practices in 2022 and Bosa not signing until less than a week before the opener last season.

Both players said the long contract disputes weighed on them and impacted their performance during those seasons, adding to the urgency for San Francisco to get something done earlier this time around.

“I think that’s important,” Lynch said. “Human nature is that deadlines force these things. But I think you can always learn from situations, and you’d be a fool not to. I’d like to have our business tidied up. Those things, they ran the course they needed to. I’m proud of our record of getting the guys we want to get done, done. But I’m right there with everyone else. I’d sure like it to happen sooner.”

Lynch characterized the communication between the two sides as “good talks” and said he has heard from teams interested in acquiring Aiyuk if the Niners are willing to deal him.

But when asked whether he thought there was any chance that Aiyuk wasn’t on the team after the first round of the draft was over, Lynch simply said: “I wouldn’t anticipate that.”

Aiyuk’s Performance in the Previous Season

Aiyuk was a key part of San Francisco’s offense last season as he formed a great connection with quarterback Brock Purdy. Aiyuk had 75 catches and a career-high 1,375 yards last season with seven touchdowns as he earned second-team All-Pro honors.

Aiyuk has 269 catches for 3,931 yards and 25 TDs in four seasons since being drafted 25th overall in 2020 but has taken off since Purdy became quarterback.

“What we’ve done has been pretty cool,” Purdy said. “I’ve said this before: I’m just thankful I’ve had the opportunity to play with him, throw him the ball and win games with him. It’s been awesome. But we’re at the time of year where, obviously, you don’t know. As a player, it’s out of our control to sign guys and stuff, that’s up to the front office.”

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