Brandon Aiyuk sent Twitter sleuths on an investigation to find a deeper meaning to his cryptic post last week.
The 49ers wide receiver, who is eligible for a fifth-year rookie contract extension this offseason, had some Faithful scratching their heads when he tweeted out the following:
It’s the “I’m ready to stand on business every time” line that really sticks out here, as Aiyuk touts his credentials despite being in coach Kyle Shanahan’s run-first system. But how long can the Niners afford to keep him around?
According to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner, who is in Arizona for the league's annual owners' meetings, NFL teams have approached the 49ers to see if Aiyuk is available. Given that Deebo Samuel signed a big three-year, $71.5 million contract extension last year with $58.1 million guaranteed, the Niners might hit their threshold when it comes to receiver spending in the next couple of years.
Wagoner also reported that the 49ers plan on picking up his extension this offseason.
"It probably makes sense to do that," GM John Lynch said, via Wagoner. "We're excited about watching Brandon move forward with us."
For now, Wagoner says we can expect Aiyuk to return in 2023, but it might get interesting in 2024. While Aiyuk doesn’t have the same bruising style as Deebo that also makes him a threat out of the backfield, he is a supreme route-runner who blocks well with great body control and hands.
While Aiyuk claims he was the fourth passing option in the 49ers offense, he actually finished last season with the team lead in targets (114), catches (78) and yards (1,015) while finishing second to George Kittle (11) in touchdowns (8). Aiyuk is special, but the salary cap could force the 49ers hand as soon as next year. Stay tuned.