This NFL Analyst’s Brandon Aiyuk Take May Worry 49ers Fans

Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers
NFL Analysis Network

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk did not participate in the team’s mandatory minicamp due to a contract dispute with the club, which has some wondering if the 49ers may trade him.

Aiyuk has one year remaining on his deal and is slated to earn a rather substantial contract if he hits free agency. He has also made it fairly clear that he isn’t open to taking a hometown discount from San Francisco.

Basically, Aiyuk wants to get paid, and it’s going to be very difficult for the cash-strapped Niners to properly compensate him, especially given the rise in salaries for wide outs this offseason.

Earlier in the offseason, there was optimism that the 49ers would get something done with Aiyuk at some point, and some still feel that the two sides will eventually find common ground on a long-term deal.

However, Joe Dolan of Fantasy Points is not so sure.

While Dolan doesn’t think that Aiyuk will cost himself money by sitting out of games next season, he isn’t confident that San Francisco will re-sign him and also thinks that there is more of a chance that Aiyuk gets traded than of him holding out.

Is Brandon Aiyuk Angling His Way Out of San Francisco?

In a perfect world, the Niners would give Aiyuk an extension and he would remain in the Bay Area for the foreseeable future.

But unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way, and it certainly won’t be that easy for the 49ers to just pay Aiyuk. It isn’t that simple.

San Francisco is already paying fellow receiver Deebo Samuel, who is under contract through 2025. The Niners also made Nick Bosa the highest-paid defensive player in football. They just signed Christian McCaffrey for two more years. Plus, they have to worry about retaining Brock Purdy, who becomes eligible for an extension next offseason.

That’s not to mention all of the other players the 49ers have to pay (or are already paying).

The thing is, San Francisco is trying to win a Super Bowl, and trading Aiyuk would severely hinder those hopes. So, it’s entirely possible that the Niners play out the season with Aiyuk and then revisit the situation next offseason. They may prefer to take their chances with him in free agency next March than jettison him and submarine their chances at a championship in the process.

Aiyuk established himself as the club’s clear No. 1 receiver in 2023, as he hauled in 75 receptions for 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns.

We’ll see if the 49ers and Brandon Aiyuk can smooth things over in the coming weeks (or months).

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