49ers Plan to Make Crucial $14 Million Decision With Emerging WR

Brandon Aiyuk

Getty Brandon Aiyuk catches the ball in midair on January 8, 2023 in Santa Clara.

From what it’s looking like, the San Francisco 49ers are about to give Brandon Aiyuk an extended stay in the Bay Area.

Per David Lombardi of The Athletic on Monday, March 27, the franchise are planning to pick up Aiyuk’s fifth-year option for the 2024 season. In the process, the 49ers will be locking him into $14.1 million in guaranteed money.

49ers GM Sounds Off on Brandon Aiyuk

General manager John Lynch himself revealed to reporters at the NFL’s Owner’s meeting in Arizona that they plan to keep Aiyuk a little longer after his rookie deal.

“Brandon’s been excellent for us,” Lynch told reporters (h/t 49ers Webzone). “I’d be shocked if we didn’t [give him a fifth-year]. We still have some time. It’s (the deadline) the day after the draft, I believe, we have to make those decisions. And so we’re still discussing, but it probably makes sense to do that for Brandon.”

Aiyuk has certainly done his part to play into an extended stay with the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The former Arizona State Sun Devil and junior college transfer from Sierra College in Rocklin, California (Sacramento region) delivered his first career 1,000-yard season in 2022 — which was a career-best 1,015 yards.

And in each of his three seasons in the league, Aiyuk’s yardage has improved every season — going from 748 yards his rookie season to 826 in 2021 all the way to hitting past the century mark. And he accomplished his first 1,000-yard milestone by playing with three different quarterbacks during the regular season from Trey Lance, to Jimmy Garoppolo to Brock Purdy. He also hit his 2022 yardage mark with only one 100-yard game (January 1, 2023 versus the Las Vegas Raiders).

“He’s a really good player,” Lynch said. “It’s interesting when you’re at these league functions, ownership meetings, combine, a lot of people ask about him. They really appreciate his game, and they see it ascending. And he’s a guy we’re very fortunate to have, and I think he’s just coming into his own, too.”

Lynch believes the best is still yet to come for Aiyuk…hence why they feel it’s best to keep him around.

“I think it’s only going to get better. So we’re excited about watching Brandon move forward with us,” Lynch said.

The 49ers also are likely aware that Aiyuk isn’t taking his offseason work lightly as he prepares for the 2023 season:

49ers Address One More Offensive Position Through Towering Signing

Meanwhile, as Aiyuk is a candidate for another season with the 49ers, Lynch revealed one signing the 49ers have made — which addresses the offensive line.

Per 49ers insider and columnist for NBC Sports Bay Area on Monday, the Niners are signing Matt Pryor to help fill the offensive trenches. Pryor comes over playing for two previous NFL franchises.

“The 49ers signed OT Matt Pryor, general manager, John Lynch said. Prior has appeared in 60 games with 24 starts over four seasons with Philadelphia and Indianapolis,” Maiocco reported.

Pryor spent his last two seasons with the Colts. Per Pro Football Focus, Pryor played in 576 offensive snaps which featured 212 plays at right guard and 113 at right tackle. So his ability to be a lineman swingman can help the 49ers especially as they attempt to replace Mike McGlinchey.

The 6-foot-7, 332-pound Pryor is also a California native, having grown up in Lakewood in Los Angeles County.

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