DeVonta Smith extension just set the bar for Brandon Aiyuk

The Niners would have ideally paid Brandon Aiyuk a good amount of money by now, but the receiver has no problem waiting while other receivers reel in top dollar.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Brandon Aiyuk doesn't mind playing the long game with regard to his contract extension, and he's happy to see what DeVonta Smith is now getting from the Eagles.

The San Francisco 49ers would have preferred getting wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk locked up on a long-term contract extension by now.

After all, the market for top wideouts is only increasing. Getting ahead of that curve would be a wise move for general manager John Lynch and Co.

But Aiyuk knows there are plenty of other top receivers who are due for new contracts. The Dallas Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb wants a new hefty extension. Same with the Minnesota Vikings' Justin Jefferson.

One of those upper-level wide receivers who is no longer awaiting an extension is Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith.

He's now getting paid big time, according to a Monday report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:

Aiyuk has to be smiling that another wideout's deal helped push his own value up.

Brandon Aiyuk will likely ask for more than what DeVonta Smith is getting

It's important to note that Aiyuk led the Niners in receiving yards the last two seasons despite the team boasting other well-known offensive weapons like tight end George Kittle, running back Christian McCaffrey and fellow wideout Deebo Samuel.

Despite plenty of proverbial "mouths to feed," Aiyuk still reigns as San Francisco's best pure wide receiver, and he'll use both that and Smith's extension as bargaining chips for his own contractual talks.

Take into account the below statistical comparison, compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle's Eric Branch:




DeVonta Smith (2021-2023)




Brandon Aiyuk (2021-2023)




Aiyuk put up bigger numbers on fewer catches, and that alone will likely mean he asks for a bigger deal than Smith's three-year deal worth up to $75 million.

If the 49ers weren't facing some challenging salary-cap restraints, paying Aiyuk would be relatively easy. Projected to be nearly $24 million over the cap in 2025 while also having to worry about quarterback Brock Purdy's own hefty contract extension a year from now, however, getting Aiyuk locked up on a new deal is going to be difficult.

It's not impossible, though.

Philly is already paying big money to veteran wide receiver A.J. Brown, and it's now dishing out serious money to Smith, too.

For the Niners, figuring out a way to keep both Aiyuk and Samuel playing alongside each other isn't impossible.

It's just going to be expensive, especially after Smith's new contract.

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