NFL Trade Rumors: San Francisco 49ers and Wide Receiver Brandon Aiyuk at Odds Over Contract

Things are apparently getting uncomfortable between the San Francisco 49ers and star wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. NFL Network's Clayton Holloway noticed the second-team All-Pro unfollowed the team that drafted him on X/Twitter.

Aiyuk is entering the fifth-year option of his rookie contract and is set to earn $14.124 million for the 2024 season. Naturally, he's looking for a new deal and the first big-money contract of his young career.

He's earned it. Aiyuk was one of the league's most explosive and efficient pass catchers last season, totalling 1342 receiving yards and seven touchdowns at a preposterous 12.8 yards per target. He's no one-year wonder, either: 49ers quarterbacks have averaged a 119.8 passer rating on throws in his direction since 2020. He deserves to be one of the highest-paid wide receivers in the league, and that will require a deal well north of $25 million per year.

Still, negotiating a contract could prove tricky for the 49ers. Per overthecap, they have less than $6.5 million in salary cap space, and they already have massive deals in place for wide receiver Deebo Samuel ($23.85M per year), left tackle Trent Williams ($23.01M per year), running back Christian McCaffrey ($16.02M per year), and tight end George Kittle ($15M per year). Quarterback Brock Purdy will also be extension-eligible following the 2024 season.

That delicate cap situation is precisely why Aiyuk has garnered so much buzz as a trade candidate. He's arguably as valuable as any of the 49ers' offensive stars already on huge deals, but they simply can't pay everyone. Keeping him may very well mean having to part ways with another star.

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