Brandon Aiyuk

Lynch wants Aiyuk to remain with 49ers for rest of career

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SANTA CLARA — The 49ers’ stance with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has not changed, general manager John Lynch said Monday.

“Our wish is he’s here and part of the Niners for the rest of his career,” Lynch said in a press conference ahead of Thursday's NFL draft. “We’re focused on B.A. being part of us.”

Lynch declined to provide any specifics on Aiyuk’s situation, including whether the 49ers have given permission to Aiyuk’s representation to speak with other teams in order for him to gauge his true market value. He said the 49ers have received calls from around the league to inquire about a potential trade for Aiyuk.

The first round of the 2024 NFL Draft is scheduled for Thursday. If a trade is not made by the end of the first round, it would appear that Aiyuk will be remaining with the 49ers for at least another season.

Aiyuk is coming off his best season and was named second-team All-Pro.

Aiyuk, 25, is scheduled to make $14.1 million during the 2024 season on the fifth-year option. If he plays this season on his current contract, he would be eligible for unrestricted free agency at the end of the season. The 49ers would have the option of restricting his movement with the franchise tag.

The question for the 49ers is whether they can afford two of the highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL. Deebo Samuel is scheduled to make $20.97 million in base salary this season and $16.6 million in 2025.

Aiyuk has quickly become the favored target for 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, who will be eligible for a new contract after this season. CEO Jed York said the 49ers are prepared to pay Purdy at market value on his next contract.

Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow is the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL at an average of $55 million per season. Twelve quarterbacks are making at least $40 million a season and 20 quarterbacks average at least $30 million annually.

The 49ers want to give Purdy every opportunity to be successful. His style seems to be a good fit for Aiyuk, who is at his best catching passes over the middle and producing big yards after the catch.

Aiyuk became the first 49ers wide receiver with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons since Anquan Boldin, who registered 1,179 receiving yards in 2013 and 1,062 in 2014.

Aiyuk had a career-best 1,342 yards on 75 receptions with seven touchdowns. In 2022, he caught 78 passes for 1,015 yards and eight touchdowns. His production dropped during the postseason with just nine catches for 149 yards and one touchdown.

The 49ers acquired Aiyuk in the 2020 NFL Draft when they traded up six spots to No. 25 overall to select him. In four seasons, Aiyuk has 269 catches for 3,931 and 25 touchdowns in 62 regular-season games.

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