49ers GM John Lynch Addresses Brandon Aiyuk Trade Rumors

San Francisco is negotiating a contract extension with the 26-year-old wideout this offseason.
Dec 17, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch looks on prior
Dec 17, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch looks on prior / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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The San Francisco 49ers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII last season and will try to climb the NFL mountaintop to finish the job in 2024. The hard work lies ahead but this offseason is important for laying the groundwork to repeat as NFC champions and then bring home the Lombardi Trophy.

Much of the offseason chatter surrounding the 49ers hasn't had anything to do with their efforts on that front, however. Instead it's primarily been about wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk's desire for a new deal and the trade talks that might ensue if San Francisco doesn't want to pay him. On Monday, general manager John Lynch addressed the trade rumors that have permeated his team's offseason activities.

The short version of Lynch's comments: the 49ers want Aiyuk to be part of the team for the rest of his career, they've had "good discussions" with the wideout on a potential extension, and there are no plans to trade him. The long version can be found below.

The most important comments came in the form of Lynch comparing Aiyuk to Deebo Samuel. In 2022, around this same time, Samuel was also looking for an extension that paid him handsomely and there were rumors abound about what might happen if San Francisco didn't pay him. The 49ers ultimately inked the All-Pro to a three-year, $71.6 million deal. It feels possible, if not likely, this situation plays out similarly.

Aiyuk is coming off a career season, recording 1,342 yards on 75 catches to go along with seven touchdown receptions. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is set to make $14.1 million in 2024. The 2020 first round pick has been pretty open about his desire for a new deal since the season ended. He's even used his social media pages to stir the pot, like tweeting at Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin amidst rumors the Steelers might be interested in acquiring him.

This week will likely determine Aiyuk's future in San Francisco. If the 49ers are really going to trade the 26-year-old receiver, then doing so during the NFL draft makes the most sense. It's when they can procure the most value and have the opportunity to immediately replace his production thanks to an incredibly deep wide receiver prospect pool. The iron is hot, as it were, for both the Niners and any interested parties. It's best to strike now.

But should the draft come and go without a deal, then Aiyuk will probably be staying put for the long haul. From the sounds of it, Lynch and the organization would be very happy with that outcome.


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Liam McKeone

LIAM MCKEONE

Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.