John Lynch, 49ers looking to keep Brandon Aiyuk ‘around for a long time’

Feb 27, 2024, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:06 pm

Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates with teammates after catching a touchdown i...

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates with teammates after catching a touchdown in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on September 10, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers enter an offseason with a variety of questions to answer, including the future of Brandon Aiyuk. But at least for now, the team is hellbent on keeping him around for the long haul.

That’s what general manager John Lynch echoed Tuesday at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. When asked by reporters, Lynch spoke highly of the 49ers’ star wideout, proud of the player he has become in the NFL.

“He’s one of my favorite guys around our building, the way he approaches the game,” John Lynch said about Aiyuk in Indianapolis Tuesday. “He’s a competitior. He’s a warrior. He plays with such a physicality, also with grace the way some of the positions his body can get into. And he has a flare for making plays when it matters most. He’s served us very well as a franchise.”

Aiyuk is entering his fifth-year option on his rookie deal, valued at $14 million. What’s more likely to happen, however, is a contract extension, lower the cap hit for at least the 2024 season. Of course, a trade is also possible, given the team’s top-heavy roster already.

But after the 2024 salary cap ballooned to $255.4 million last week, Lynch and the front office have a little more room to play with this offseason.

“We’ve got a nice track record of extending players that are important to us and Brandon [Aiyuk]’s a guy that we want to keep around for a long time.”

The 49ers have splurged when needed, awarding homegrown players over the last few years. That list includes Arik Armstead (2020), George Kittle (2020), Fred Warner (2021), Kyle Juszczyk (2021), Trent Williams (2021), Deebo Samuel (2022) and Nick Bosa (2023).

Brandon Aiyuk could be the latest star player to “get the bag” from the Red & Gold. But with a market value near $23 million, per Spotrac, Lynch and Co. will need to do some financial finagling to make the money work.

Aiyuk, 25, is coming on his best season in the NFL, making his first All-Pro team. He amassed 1,342 recieving yards and seven touchdowns last season. “BA” also led the NFL in yards per catch (17.9), making him a premier player at the position.

The 49ers face a slew of free agents this spring however, including fellow WR Jauan Jennings. He is a restricted free agent this offseason, meaning the Red & Gold can keep him around with more optionality.

Key offseason dates for the San Francisco 49ers

  • Tuesday, Feb. 27 – NFL Combine begins
  • Thursday, March 13 – The 2024 free agency signing period begins at 1 p.m. PST

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