What would a Brandon Aiyuk contract extension look like?

Brandon Aiyuk wants to get paid. The 49ers want to pay him. It's just a matter of how much.

If the two sides come to an agreement, how much would Aiyuk's extension be worth?

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Aiyuk and the 49ers are carefully negotiating a new contract extension, but what will that money end up looking like if signed?

The San Francisco 49ers are at a bit of a standoff with their top wide receiver from the last two seasons, Brandon Aiyuk.

Aiyuk is entering the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, which will pay out a fully guaranteed $14.1 million in 2024.

Understandably, after back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, Aiyuk wants both long-term security and a substantial raise after what he's delivered to the Niners over the last two seasons. That said, San Francisco's own salary cap challenges make it difficult, especially knowing that a lucrative extension also awaits star quarterback Brock Purdy a year from now.

There has been some smoke surrounding a possibility of an Aiyuk trade, which would be the end result if he and the 49ers are ultimately unable to come to an agreement.

That said, both general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have stressed how much they want Aiyuk around for the long haul, and it wouldn't be shocking if a deal ultimately takes place after the upcoming NFL Draft this April.

If an extension is reached, what would it look like?

Predicting what a Brandon Aiyuk contract extension would look like

The Niners have already dished out plenty of top-dollar contracts to stars like tight end George Kittle, left tackle Trent Williams, linebacker Fred Warner, defensive end Nick Bosa and fellow wide receiver Deebo Samuel, which is a good measure to keep the team's core intact heading into 2024 and beyond.

Absorbing Aiyuk's future cap hit will be tough, yes. But it's workable. Especially with the yearly increase of the salary cap.

According to Spotrac, the market-value prediction for an Aiyuk extension would be for four years at a total up to $96.09 million, a rough average of $24 million per year.

Based on that annual average, Aiyuk would become the fifth-highest paid receiver in the league behind the Miami Dolphins' Tyreek Hill ($30 million per year), the Las Vegas Raiders' Davante Adams ($28 million per year), the Los Angeles Rams' Cooper Kupp ($26.7 million per year) and the Philadelphia Eagles' A.J. Brown ($25 million per year).

But, as any cap enthusiast can say, guaranteed money is typically the most important factor.

Aside from Adams, each of those receivers have at least $35 million guaranteed at signing, and it's a strong possibility that Aiyuk will want so surpass that by a substantial margin.

Perhaps in the range of $40 million guaranteed.

It's also possible that Aiyuk's camp is wanting to work in a larger role than the one he had over the last few seasons despite leading San Francisco in receiving yards in 2022 and 2023. If the 49ers can't guarantee that because of their current array of weapons, they might have to up the offer a bit to counter any role demands. That could, at least in theory, up the yearly average to $26 million per year with as much as $45 million guaranteed, pushing the total value of a four-year extension to $104 million.

Good thing the people who negotiate these kinds of deals make a lot more money (and have a lot more responsibility) than we do.

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