July 15, 2024

Brandon Aiyuk addresses 49ers extension talks

Once again, this offseason, the 49ers have been patient during a contentious contract negotiation. While taking their time to extend to Aiyuk, they have seen new contracts for Nico Collins, Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Amon-Ra St. Brown, A.J. Brown, and Justin Jefferson continue to reset the wide receiver market. If they wait much longer, they may watch the Bengals set the top marks even higher with a new deal for Ja’Marr Chase.

While the number of big-money extensions should, in theory, make deflating the figures on a new Aiyuk deal harder to justify, the 49ers have been here before. They’ve pushed a star wideout to the brink and eventually signed him to a below-market deal. It stands to reason that similar front office tactics are the cause for the divide in asking prices between the two parties.

Aiyuk believes, after a second-team All-Pro season, that he’s done enough to be among the top-paid players at his position, while it seems like the 49ers are looking to repeat their actions from two years ago, undercutting Aiyuk’s contract length and value and perhaps making up for it by delivering a higher level of guarantees. That path doesn’t come without its challenges, as well, as Jefferson and Brown set the bar high with guaranteed amounts of $88.74M and $51M, respectively.

Perhaps a negotiation tactic used in the crafting of Samuel’s deal, the 49ers have told Aiyuk that they just aren’t able to get up to his asking price. Perhaps having seen Samuel go through this same process, Aiyuk has some unique insight into the team’s tactics. For now, he’s standing firm and refusing to give ground on his perceived value.

“They told me that they didn’t think that we were on the same page and that they didn’t believe that we were going to,” Aiyuk added. “And that was about it at that time. But it’s part of it. It’s part of the contract negotiations, trying to sway stuff in either direction. So whether that’s 100 percent true or not, I guess that’s still to find out.”

Ely Allen contributed to this post.