49ers’ Kyle Shanahan Sounds Off On Brandon Aiyuk’s Contract Status

Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
NFL Analysis Network

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is not taking part in organized team activities, and head coach Kyle Shanahan does not seem all that bothered.

Aiyuk is preparing to enter the final year of his deal, and the 49ers have not seemed to make any progress with him in contract extension talks.

Taking that into consideration, it’s not all that surprising that Aiyuk is absent for voluntary workouts.

When asked about how he handles the situation, Shanahan didn’t seem to be sweating it.

“Same as I do about all these guys that aren’t here,” Shanahan said, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com. “I wish they were here, but it’s something that’s part of the business and any time it’s part of the business part you try to respect it. Stay out of it as much as possible. Look forward to the days when we can just focus on football.”

Aiyuk has been surrounded by trade speculation for much of the offseason. Some felt he would be moved before the NFL Draft, but San Francisco opted to hold on to him.

The 26-year-old has made it clear that he isn’t open to taking a hometown discount, which has made things very complicated for the Niners.

Aiyuk will certainly not cheap, and the 49ers have a tight financial situation as it is. They are already paying fellow receiver Deebo Samuel big bucks, and they will also have to come up with the money to extend quarterback Brock Purdy soon (he becomes eligible next offseason).

San Francisco is coming off of a Super Bowl appearance and is the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl once again next season, so it would obviously prefer to keep Aiyuk on the roster.

However, salary cap restrictions are making that very difficult.

Of course, the Niners can always hold on to Aiyuk through 2024 and then risk losing him to free agency next offseason, which may end up being the most realistic track for the club.

Aiyuk, who played his collegiate football at Arizona State, was selected by the 49ers with the 25th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

After a couple of solid season to begin his career, Aiyuk broke out in 2022, catching 78 passes for 1,015 yards and eight touchdowns.

He then enjoyed the best year of his NFL tenure to date in 2023, hauling in 75 receptions for 1,342 yards and seven scores.

If Brandon Aiyuk holds out of mandatory minicamp in a couple of weeks, then maybe Kyle Shanahan will have something to worry about.

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