5 players the 49ers would love to extend after Brandon Aiyuk

There are a number of pending free agents the Niners would likely want to extend instead of hitting the open market in 2025.
San Francisco 49ers wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk (L) and Jauan Jennings (R)
San Francisco 49ers wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk (L) and Jauan Jennings (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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No. 3: Cornerback Charvarius Ward

Let's not leave Charvarius Ward off the list of those the Niners would love to extend, however.

Turning 28 years old this offseason, Ward is in line to capitalize on what could be the final substantial payout of his NFL career when his current contract, one worth up to $40.5 million, expires in 2025. Over the Cap valued his 2023 efforts at $13.3 million, and the market value for true No. 1 corners could easily exceed that number.

Meeting Ward's contractual demands will be tough, but it might be wiser for San Francisco to start those talks now instead of playing the "wait and see" game throughout the rest of 2024.

Ward has been consistently good, and there's little reason to assume anything different this season. Anything close to last year's production will mean he commands top dollar in 2025.

And that translates into the 49ers needing to get Ward under contract long term now instead of waiting for his value to increase a year from now.

It won't be easy, of course. The Niners may already be preparing for life without Ward and could merely look at replacing him with a cheaper option, even though that would likely regress their secondary by a substantial margin.