Source: 49ers pick up Aiyuk's fifth-year option for 2024


SANTA CLARA — The 49ers have picked up Brandon Aiyuk's fifth-year contract option for the 2024 NFL season, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area on Friday.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport was the first to report the news.

Prior to Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft, 49ers general manager John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan made good on their offseason mantra that they want to keep their top wide receiver in red and gold as long as they can.

The option keeps the 2020 No. 25 overall draft pick with the 49ers through the 2024 season, allowing Aiyuk to earn his highest salary to date at $14.1 million in the final year of his rookie contract.

The news came a few hours after Aiyuk tweeted about a Friday morning phone call he received from his agent, leading him to believe the 49ers might have traded him. Instead, they are keeping him around for at least two more seasons.

Lynch hinted last month at the NFL Annual Meetings at Aiyuk's option being picked up, and explained why the 49ers like him so much.

“He’s a really good player,” Lynch said. “It’s interesting when you’re at these league functions — ownership meetings, combine — a lot of people ask about him. They really appreciate his game.

“He’s a guy we’re very fortunate to have, and I think he’s just coming into his own. I think he’s only going to get better. So we’re excited about seeing Brandon move forward with us.”

After a quick start in his rookie season, Aiyuk has established himself as an integral member of the 49ers' offense. The Arizona State product led the team in receiving in 2022, catching 78 of his 114 targets for 1,015 yards and eight touchdowns.

Aiyuk famously was in Shanahan’s doghouse in 2021 as a target of his tough-love coaching. Aiyuk took the criticism and ran with it, though, developing into a leader in the receiver room, as well as its top producer.

Aiyuk has seamlessly adjusted to whomever the 49ers have placed under center. The 25-year-old worked with Trey Lance during the 2022 offseason before becoming now-Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's favorite target. After the veteran play-caller suffered a season-ending ankle injury, Aiyuk developed a tangible chemistry with rookie Brock Purdy.

RELATED: Shanahan's brutal honesty made Aiyuk a complete receiver

Both Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel are the leaders of the 49ers receiver pack, which is rounded out by Jauan Jennings, who re-signed as exclusive-rights free agent, second-year speedster Danny Gray and return specialist Ray-Ray McCloud.

Veteran receiver Chris Conley was signed to a one-year deal during the offseason after spending time with the Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans. The Georgia wideout joins Willie Snead IV, who signed a one-year deal to return to the 49ers after spending most of the season on the practice squad.

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