Brock Purdy

Why Aiyuk contract extension is vital for 49ers QB Purdy

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ORLANDO, Fla. — The 49ers are unable to provide quarterback Brock Purdy with everything he might want until after the 2024 season.

But they can make his life a lot more comfortable this offseason -- in a way that does not directly impact his bank account.

Purdy’s top target, Brandon Aiyuk, is in line this offseason to become one of the top-paid wide receivers in the NFL.

Aiyuk’s presence might be vital toward Purdy maintaining a high level of production with San Francisco.

“It’s hard to be a successful quarterback if you don’t have real good receivers,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting.

“So it starts there with Brandon, and I think that’s real big for Brock and his future to make sure we have a good group for him going forward.”

Aiyuk led San Francisco last season with 75 receptions for 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns. Purdy set the franchise record with 4,280 passing yards in 16 games.

Aiyuk is scheduled to earn $14.1 million this season on the fifth-year option after coming to the 49ers as a first-round pick (No. 25 overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft.

General manager John Lynch said on Monday that there has been regular communication with Aiyuk's representation aimed at a multi-year contract extension.

Aiyuk enjoyed a breakout season and was chosen as a second-team All-Pro. He is likely to join the current group of 16 NFL receivers who are earning at least $20 million per season.

Shanahan expressed optimism that a deal is achievable because both sides share the same goal.

“Usually when you’re in a situation like we are, where you got a real good player who wants to be here, and we want the player to be here extremely bad, too,” Shanahan said, “what I found with us is it doesn’t always happen right away but it takes a matter of time to work it out.”

Meanwhile, there is little doubt Purdy is expected to be with the 49ers for a long time -- likely as the team's highest-paid player.

Purdy is locked into another season on his rookie contract, which makes him the 49th-highest paid player on the team. The league's collective bargaining agreement prohibits a draft pick from being able to renegotiate his first contract until after his third season.

Aiyuk has sent cryptic messages via social media that hint at his discontent with the slow-moving contract talks. But the Shanahan-Aiyuk relationship appears to be unaffected.

Shanahan said he saw Aiyuk last week, as they were both staying in the same hotel in Cabo San Lucas, a vacation spot at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.

Shanahan says he tries to remove himself from all the drama of contract talks while Lynch and chief negotiator Paraag Marathe deal with Aiyuk’s representation.

The contract situation with Aiyuk could follow much the same path as multi-year second contracts San Francisco has executed in recent years with George Kittle, Fred Warner, Deebo Samuel and Nick Bosa.

That history of the 49ers' eventually reaching contract terms with many of their top players gives Shanahan confidence that, eventually, Aiyuk will be added to that list of happy employees.

“We’ve proven that we’ll try real hard to get our own guys signed,” Shanahan said. “Almost every situation we try to do it that way, so I think he trusts that and I think it helps the guys to see that.

“I think Brandon understands the situation, and I know I do. I’m excited to get him back here playing for us.”

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