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Brandon Aiyuk Asking for Contract Similar to Amon-Ra St. Brown

Brandon Aiyuk wants near $30 million per year for his new contract extension after some WRs got paid massive money before the NFL Draft.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Trade Target San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk warms up before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Brandon Aiyuk saga and talk related to the Pittsburgh Steelers has drawn along for two months. At one point, maybe the trade would happen during the NFL Draft, but now, if that deal gets done before the start of the season, it will almost assuredly be done in training camp once the 49ers’ talks with Aiyuk have gone downhill.

What is the holdup between Aiyuk and the 49ers? There is a massive difference in contract opinion. Last week, Mike Garafolo reported that the 49ers and Aiyuk were nowhere near closer to striking it out on a new deal, something that leads to the question of whether Aiyuk could be moved. He still has not reported to the team’s OTAs, and after drafting Ricky Pearsall in the first round, San Francisco has some wiggle room.

Pittsburgh Steelers San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk

49ers wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel celebrate after a touchdown, Sept. 11, 2023 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

If they are so far apart, it leads to the question of just how much Aiyuk wants to be paid. According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Aiyuk is using Amon-Ra St. Brown’s new contract as a barometer for his upcoming deal, which could push the annual average value to north of $30 million per season.

“San Francisco with Brandon Aiyuk, they have been talking, they have been negotiating,” Fowler said. “Nothing imminent as of yet, but there’s certainly a chance. I was told the benchmark here is [Detroit Lions wide receiver] Amon-Ra St. Brown because he got $28 million [per] year on a four-year deal from Detroit. The goal as it appears is for Aiyuk to try to beat that.”

Take that for what it is, but as Fowler notes, St. Brown received $28 million annually. A.J. Brown and the Eagles came to the negotiating table and bumped his pay up to $32 million per year. So, there is undoubtedly precedent here, and with Ceedee Lamb and Justin Jefferson coming for new contracts soon, too, Aiyuk should see his deal in a similar range. The question will be whether the Steelers are willing to pay Aiyuk that much money and trade significant draft capital to do it. Still, they can undoubtedly accommodate Aiyuk’s salary request if they choose.