Brandon Aiyuk is losing leverage with 49ers over holdout

It's the storyline that every 49ers fan wants over, but have the 49ers found themselves in a better situation over Brandon Aiyuk's holdout than first thought?
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

It's a story as old as time. Player wants contract, and won't play until he gets it. But has Brandon Aiyuk waited too long and has he been capped by another receiver's extension?

One contining storyline that San Francisco 49ers fans would like to soon see the end of is the contract holdout of wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, as the talented receiver seems no closer to ending his self-imposed exile from the team as training camp begins to approach.

And it's understandable why Aiyuk wants to cash in. He took his career to new heights as the No. 1 wideout for quarterback Brock Purdy with 75 receptions for 1342 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season and nine receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown in the playoffs.

Despite the multiple rumors of Aiyuk being traded, rumors that sped up as the Niners spent a first-round pick on receiver RIcky Pearsall, the team seems set on keeping Aiyuk on the team as it tries to go one better in 2024 and win that elusive sixth Lombardi Trophy.

But this holdout might be beginning to turn advantageous for a team that's been very patient, as the 49ers might now begin to hold some leverage over the negotiations.

Despite misconceptions, Justin Jefferson contract has been a plus for 49ers

Recently, we saw Minnesota Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson reset the wide receiver market with a four-year, $140 million deal with $110 million guaranteed.

Some saw this and criticized the 49ers, thinking they waited too long.

On the contrary, this is a good thing for San Francisco. To put simply, as amazing as Aiyuk has been, he is not Jefferson. The important number isn't the $140 million, but the $110 million guaranteed. If Jefferson is getting paid an average of $27.5 million a year on this deal, then we can logically infer Aiyuk will be worth a little less.

In effect, this contract has effectively capped what Aiyuk can ask for.

In addition, the Niners aren't going to be in a position where they must consider moving him on. Aiyuk is still under contract, and then will be eligible for the franchise tag, they don't have to rush to the negotiation table.

And then there's the matter of Pearsall himself. It's way too early of course to know what he'll be capable of at this point, but to say he's an exciting insurance policy would be an understatement. Should he perform well in training camp, the preseason and (though we hope the holdout doesn't go this long) the regular season, then Aiyuk's position will be much less powerful at the table.

It's impossible to know when this holdout is going to end but the way the wind is blowing right now, it seems to at least be blowing in the right direction for the team.

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