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49ers, Brandon Aiyuk ‘Not Close’ on an Extension

The Pittsburgh Steelers could still be in play for Brandon Aiyuk as he and the 49ers are not close on an extension.



Pittsburgh Steelers Trade Target San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk

If the Pittsburgh Steelers somehow land Brandon Aiyuk, there will be more than just the capital needed to acquire him. But the Steelers will have to pay Aiyuk near the top of the market money on top of that if they want to land him. And Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus believes that Aiyuk’s new contract would come in at around $30 million per year, or at the very least, somewhere in the range of $28 million to start.

With CeeDee Lamb and Justin Jefferson set to break the bank soon enough, paying that much for Aiyuk would not be that stunning, especially after Calvin Ridley got a massive contract on the open market from the Tennessee Titans. And apparently, the 49ers and Aiyuk remain far apart, according to Mike Garafolo.

“Well, we’re not close. And they have made a recent run at it, from my understanding, Mike Yam. It’s not like they haven’t had any discussions. They have had preliminary discussions. You saw John Lynch say Brandon Aiyuk could play in the fifth-year option and play out his deal—they’re comfortable with that. Then you’ve got Aiyuk doing the little finger thing saying, ‘Hey, I could walk.’ So, basically, it’s a little bit of a standoff right now. Now look, this is not where the Deebo Samuel thing was, and as bad as that got with Samuel basically requesting a trade, they were still able to salvage that. So let’s not panic here. Let’s not freak out. And maybe if it gets to the point where there’s some offseason workouts and OTAs and Brandon Aiyuk does a little finger emoji saying, ‘Yeah, I’m going to be walking the other way instead of going to those voluntary workouts,” Garafolo said. 

Aiyuk sparked speculation with the Steelers when he sent a message to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on X, stating “@CoachTomlin they saying we twins. What you think?”

Joining the NightCap Show, Brandon Aiyuk commented back on those comments, specifically about what he wants from the 49ers and the contract extension.

“I’m trying to get what I deserve. I felt like this season, playing football, I figured out who I was as a person, as a player, what I bring to the table, what I bring to a locker room, what I bring to an organization and just the value I hold when I walk into that building because people are gonna follow me because I’ve done it the right way since I’ve been in that building,” Aiyuk said. “From the first day I walked in there, to when I was in there early this morning, I’ve done it the right way… Like I said, I can’t get into it, we got professionals working on both sides, so hopefully we can come to a professional agreement.”

That means the Steelers, at least, might be in play. Though, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported earlier this week that those trade talks for wide receivers have quieted. But still, if Aiyuk’s contract situation remains unresolved, it at least has to be considered. And clearly, Aiyuk and the team are working on an extension, as both Lynch and Aiyuk have noted.

The most recent example of a top-flight receiver being dealt with in a similar situation was A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles. They parted with their first-round pick and their later third-round pick, the No. 101 overall pick in that year’s class. So, using that parameter, you could create a theory that maybe 20th overall and 98th overall could do it. However, the 49ers could want more than that, mainly because there has to be a clear desire to keep Aiyuk.