Brandon Aiyuk

Deebo reveals his advice to Aiyuk amid ‘tough' contract situation

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SANTA CLARA — Having gone through his own lengthy contract negotiations in 2022, Deebo Samuel has been offering support to 49ers teammate Brandon Aiyuk.

“As much as I can actually,” Samuel said Tuesday after Day 1 of mandatory minicamp. “I know this is a stressful time and he’s done a tremendous job throughout his career here, and when it comes to things like this, it gets tough. Some things you kind of take personal, and overall it’s just a stressful process to be honest with you.”

Like Aiyuk, Samuel was in the final year of his rookie contract in 2022, looking for a well-deserved extension. The South Carolina product, however, attended mandatory minicamp before his holdout began during training camp.

An agreement between the 49ers and Samuel’s representation was not finalized until July 31, 2022. The “wide back” admitted it had a lasting effect on him during the process that lingered through the beginning of the season.

“Oh yeah, for sure,” Samuel said. “At the end of the day you want to get what you deserve and you hope it happens, but it’s not going to happen in the timely manner that you want it to happen. It’s just a waiting game and it’s a situation where his agent communicates with them and they communicate back and it’s just a back and forth for a long time.”

The ball may start moving for Aiyuk and his representation with the announcement on Monday of the Minnesota Vikings' mega-extension with receiver Justin Jefferson, who was one of the top-producing receivers over the past several seasons.

With the ceiling of the position group’s salary now set, working out a contract that will be amenable to Aiyuk and his representation should become closer, which both sides desperately want.

Aiyuk was a key contributor for the 49ers offense in 2023 registering a career-high 1,342 yards on 75 receptions that included seven touchdowns. The front office will do everything it can to solidify a deal with their top receiver while still knowing they will have to plan for Brock Purdy’s contract in 2025.

Aiyuk, his representation and the club have been quiet thus far but, if the 49ers are on the same timetable withers they were with Samuel, the star wide receiver still has several more weeks of waiting. Thankfully he will undoubtedly have the support of his teammates, maybe most importantly Samuel.

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