Though the 2022 NFL season is officially over for the San Francisco 49ers, the team hasn’t fully turned their attention to 2023 just yet, as, according to the team’s own website, John Lynch has signed wide receiver Tyron Johnson and cornerback Tre Swilling to future contracts.
Initially signed as a UDFA out of Oklahoma State, Johnson has been a member of the Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, and the Cincinnati Bengals during his NFL career, with his four-year NFL career amassing 23 catches for 442 yards and three touchdowns for his efforts. Johnson’s best season came as a member of the Chargers in 2020, when he appeared in 12 games with no starts but caught 20 of the 26 balls thrown his way for 398 yards and three touchdowns.
Swilling’s name should be more familiar to fans of the 49ers, as he’s actually been a member of the team’s practice squad before as recently as December of 2022. A three-star recruit who played his college ball at Georgia Tech, Swilling initially signed with the Tennessee Titans after going undrafted in 2022 before signing with the New Orleans Saints and eventually the Niners in December of 2022. Though he’s yet to appear in an NFL game, Swilling has experience in the Bay Area and could benefit from a full summer in gold and red.
Brandon Aiyuk Would Happily Re-Sign if the Money’s Right
Speaking with Brad Graham of The SF Niners, Brandon Aiyuk was asked about the chances of re-signing with the 49ers when his current deal expires. To his credit, the Arizona State product seemed receptive to the idea of re-signing with the team, but only if the money is right.
“I’m a competitor. I want to compete. I want to maximize everything that I have in my body and put on display, as a football player, when I put that name on the back of my jersey. As for the front of the jersey, I would love to be a 49er,” Aiyuk said via Niners Nation. “Like I spoke to earlier, this is a business. I got a couple of people that share my last name that I need to take care of. If they want to take care of me, then I would love to be here. But we all know it’s much harder than that and it’s a tough business. It’s hard work.”
“Every player has a vision for what they want to be as a player, and they want to be able to fully show that and be compensated for that. The ball ain’t in my court. I’m going to go to work after I enjoy my time off and reflect on the season. I’m going back to work. I know what I’m about. I’m sure everybody in that building knows what I’m about. So if they want me to be a 49er I’m sure we can get that done.”
While the ball truly is in the Niners’ court, as they can pick up Aiyuk’s fifth-year option or sign him to a long-term contract, that proposition isn’t going to come cheap for Lynch and company.
Aiyuk’s Fifth-Year Options with the San Francisco 49ers is Expensive
As Aiyuk prepares for Year 4 in the Niners’ system, Lynch and company will soon need to make a decision about his fifth-year option and whether or not to pick it up, decline it, or agree to a new, long-term contract that bypasses it altogether.
According to Ninerswire, San Francisco would be on the hook for $14.124 million if they pick up Aiyuk’s option, a number that would make him the 17th-highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL in 2022, sandwiched between Robert Woods ($13.75 million) and DK Metcalf ($14.22 million) according to Spotrac. While Aiyuk’s production is in the same range as Woods and Metcalf, it’ll be interesting to see how Lynch and company opt to pay Aiyuk into the future, as the rest of the roster is only going to get more expansive as the contracts of players like Nick Bosa come due.