Brandon Aiyuk

Why Breer believes there's ‘optimism' 49ers will extend Aiyuk

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While Brandon Aiyuk and the 49ers currently are in arduous contract negotiations, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer believes there is reason for optimism that the two parties will agree to terms.

Speaking to Colin Cowherd on FS1's “The Herd,” Breer explained why San Francisco fans should be hopeful that both sides will work out a new contract sometime soon.

“I think there are two things to give you some optimism that he could still be there [in San Francisco],” Breer said. “Number one is that they did get Christian McCaffrey [contract] done aggressively. And I think they had to do McCaffrey before they did Aiyuk because if you pay Aiyuk $29, $30 $31 million a year now the price of McCaffrey goes up, so you had to take care of him first.”

Breer went on to explain why he believes San Francisco wants to keep Aiyuk given his explosive skillset as a traditional wide receiver.

“The second thing is our mutual friend Mike Silver reported that they [offered] $26 million, that’s not that far off,” Breer told Cowherd. “And a lot of times these things get ugliest towards the end and the Deebo [Samuel] thing was not clean until it was at the very end.

“And I would tell you this, and I do feel strongly about this part, I think if you fed John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan truth serum and asked them who would you rather have on the roster, Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk moving forward I think they would answer Aiyuk.

“They love Deebo, Deebo can do a lot of different things for them, but Deebo is like a supercharged gadget player. Aiyuk is more of a typical number one receiver who can beat man coverage you can build an offense around.”

However, the NFL reporter also pointed out some possible situations where the team and the wideout could end up parting ways.

“So, do I think that they’re going to go to Justin Jefferson numbers to get Aiyuk signed? No,” Breer said. “And if Aiyuk draws a line in the sand there and says, ‘I’m not going to take less than that,’ then maybe he is traded. But if there is some level of compromise, I still think the Niners would like to get something done with Aiyuk and I don’t think the door is closed on that.”

The four-year pro is entering the final year of his five-year rookie contract, and he has made it clear that he wants a significant pay increase. Jefferson reset the market for wideouts with his massive four-year $140 million deal, making it tough for the 49ers to agree on a suitable contract.

Quarterback Brock Purdy has one year remaining on his rookie contract, and he too will command a large salary when he’s due for an extension at the end of next season. Keeping Aiyuk, McCaffrey, Purdy, Samuel and tight end George Kittle might prove to be difficult in future seasons.

While contract talks continue, Aiyuk has been absent from the 49ers' offseason program and has posted cryptic things on social media indicating his dissatisfaction with his current situation.

Still, both parties are actively engaged in figuring out the monetary details to keep the receiver in the red and gold long term.

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