What Jauan Jennings' 2-year extension means for 49ers wide receiver room

Jauan Jennings is no longer going to hit the open market in 2025.

But it also means someone else ultimately won't make the roster next year, too.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings (15)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings (15) / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers extended one of their better wide receivers, not Brandon Aiyuk, but Jauan Jennings on a new two-year deal.

Fans wondered why San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings wasn't a participant during the opening week of organized team activities.

The official line? Jennings had yet to sign the restricted free-agent tender offered to him earlier this offseason. Technically, he wasn't part of the team until the dotted line had his signature on it. Considering no other team challenged the Niners for Jennings' services, there was essentially nothing he could do but sign the contract.

Why didn't he?

Well, on Wednesday, it became clear why that tender wasn't signed and why Jennings wasn't at the voluntary practice.

Jauan Jennings signs 2-year extension, keeping him with 49ers through 2025

San Francisco announced it had signed Jennings, affectionally known as "Third and Jauan," to a contract extension that keeps him with the team through 2025:

The 49ers essentially tore up the RFA tender agreement and dished out the two-year extension, ensuring their optimal third-down weapon who happens to be one of the best blockers in the league at his position remains in the Bay Area for at least two more seasons.

Great news for the Niners, yes. Jennings is a massive asset.

But, what does the new deal mean for the rest of San Francisco's receiver room?

How Jauan Jennings' new deal shakes up 49ers wide receiver room

Wide receiver is suddenly a very crowded position group for the 49ers.

Jennings is now safely under contract for two more years, while the Niners are working toward extending their leading pass-catcher from the last two seasons, Brandon Aiyuk.

Despite facing something of an uncertain future in 2025, fellow wideout Deebo Samuel isn't going anywhere this season, and they're all joined by 2024 rookie draftees, Ricky Pearsall and Jacob Cowing.

That's five names right there. Tack on others currently rostered -- Ronnie Bell, Danny Gray, Chris Conley, Trent Taylor and more -- there are likely to be a number of good-quality players who simply have no chance of making the team for Week 1.

Much of the same could easily apply in 2025 now, too.

Even if Samuel winds up being dealt next offseason, as has been a rumor amid the Aiyuk extension talks, a top-three trio of Aiyuk, Pearsall and Jennings still crowds out the back end of the depth chart. In fact, Jennings' extension could be a preliminary move to help guard against Samuel's possible departure.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, although it might force San Francisco to restock names who ultimately won't make the cut in 2024.

Either way, Jennings' two-year deal simply means there'll be hotter competition toward the back end of the depth chart for not just this year, but in 2025, too.

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