Latest Brandon Aiyuk contract rumor paints not-so-pleasant picture

This isn't the best kind of news when looking at the extension talks between Brandon Aiyuk and the Niners.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) / Tom Hauck/GettyImages

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported on what's turning into a serious disconnect between the 49ers and Brandon Aiyuk.

All offseason, the contractual situation between the San Francisco 49ers and their leading wide receiver from the last two years, Brandon Aiyuk, pointed toward the elongated-but-hopeful "don't worry, we'll eventually get there" conclusion.

For good reason.

Historically, the Niners have reached extensions with their best players right around training camp. As is the case with Aiyuk, talks have been ongoing, per both parties involved, and the previous nature of other deals indicated that a new contract would eventually be hammered out.

It would just take time.

However, ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler reported what appears to be a breakdown in talks between the two parties, casting doubts on whether or not a new contract can be agreed upon in a reasonable amount of time.

Jeremy Fowler on Brandon Aiyuk contract talks: 'Not a lot of optimism'

Speaking on Sports Center (h/t Bleacher Report), Fowler indicated that San Francisco indeed wants Aiyuk under contract for the long haul but is reluctant to dish out the kind of contract the wide receiver is seeking:

"They're going to see what happens over the next six weeks leading into training camp. The 49ers want Aiyuk long-term in the fold but so far, they have not been willing to show that they're going to meet the market of wide receiver, which we're seeing these massive numbers. Amon-Ra St. Brown in Detroit $30 million, Justin Jefferson well above that. Aiyuk believes he's a top guy, and so, something's got to give. And so, he's worked himself into a top-10 receiver conversation. We'll see, not a lot of momentum right now. Not a lot of optimism."

A number of other deals have already gone down for other top receivers, including the aforementioned St. Brown deal with the Lions and Jefferson with the Minnesota Vikings.

It's important to note that Aiyuk is still under contract for 2024 and playing on a fully guaranteed fifth-year option, which means the 49ers don't have to come to terms with their leading wideout, and they could apply the franchise tag in 2025, too, should things head in that direction.

Of course, that could lead to a disgruntled Aiyuk in the locker room, which isn't necessarily a bonus, and he already opted not to partake in voluntary organized team activities and mandatory minicamp.

Whether or not he elects to show up for training camp, which begins in mid-July, is another factor to watch.

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