49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk targeting Amon-Ra St. Brown’s $120 million deal for new contract

Receiver Brandon Aiyuk was a no-show for the San Francisco 49ers‘ organized team activities (OTAs) last week, which was expected as the two sides are navigating a contract dispute.

Aiyuk and the 49ers reportedly aren’t close on agreeing to a contract extension, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. That has led to speculation that the fourth-year wideout will request a trade if he can’t get the deal he wants. Yet Aiyuk’s agent says the receiver hasn’t asked out of San Francisco, despite unfollowing the team on social media.

However, another contract recently signed by a fellow NFL receiver might have provided the number that Aiyuk and his representation want in a new deal. Just before the NFL Draft, Amon-Ra St. Brown signed a four-year, $120 million extension with the Detroit Lions that included $77 million in guaranteed money. That apparently set the bar that Aiyuk wants to reach, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

“[Aiyuk] doesn’t need to be the highest paid in the league,” Fowler reported on “NFL Live,” “but he’s done enough and accomplished enough in that offense where he’s probably going to need to be at that number or higher.”

While that establishes a number to work from, the disparity in statistics between Aiyuk and St. Brown will likely be a sticking point for the 49ers in negotiations.

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Last season, St. Brown compiled 119 receptions (on 164 targets) for 1,515 yards, 10 touchdowns and 75 first downs. Aiyuk caught 75 passes (on 105 targets) for 1,342 yards, seven scores and 61 first downs.

Yet Aiyuk can point to an offense that also includes George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey as a big reason he received 59 fewer targets. Despite not being featured like St. Brown, he still led the 49ers in catches and receiving yards.

Aiyuk is set to make $14.1 million in his fifth-year option for the 2024-25 season, according to Spotrac. That’s below the $30 million in average annual salary St. Brown will get from his new deal. But St. Brown was also two years away from free agency and will make $4.9 million for 2024-25 from his original rookie contract.

A.J. Brown draws the highest annual salary among receivers at $32 million with the $96 million extension he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Behind him are St. Brown and the Miami Dolphins Tyreek Hill, according to Over the Cap.

Is that where Aiyuk wants his salary to slot in? Do the 49ers feel that he’s as valuable to their offense as those other three — especially with other star talent to pay, notably quarterback Brock Purdy? The team is also projected to be $23.9 million over the cap in 2025.

Those questions present the negotiating limbo in which Aiyuk and the 49ers currently find themselves.