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. 1: Linebacker Dre Greenlaw

Another tricky extension proposition, linebacker Dre Greenlaw has solidified himself as one of the 49ers' most vital defenders over the last few seasons, pairing up with All-Pro Fred Warner to make the NFL's best linebacker corps over the previous two years.

That's not just Niner Noise saying it. Both Pro Football Focus and NFL.com said so, too.

Anyone who questions Greenlaw's importance can look at how much the Super Bowl shifted in momentum when he suffered a devastating non-contact Achilles tear, which opened up the door for the Kansas City Chiefs to stage their own comeback en route to an overtime victory that left Niners fans heartbroken.

That injury could linger into the 2024 season, and there's no guarantee that Greenlaw will return at 100 percent.

However, a silver lining (as unfortunate as it is) is that it also possibly lowers his asking price in 2025 and beyond, especially if San Francisco starts those negotiations now.

True, teams are hesitant to lock injured players into long-term deals. It's a massive risk, one the 49ers may not be willing to make, especially given their salary-cap situation.

That said, knowing Greenlaw's importance to the defense, it might be worth getting him under contract and taking that risk regardless.

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