49ers may change contract negotiation tactics for Brandon Aiyuk

49ers general manager John Lynch wasn’t interested in talking about the team’s ongoing contract negotiations with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Lynch opened his press conference by saying he wanted to focus on the draft, so naturally he was asked about the Aiyuk negotiations right away.

While the GM didn’t divulge much in the way of progress on the negotiations, he did offer some fascinating insight into how the team might change its typical contract negotiation timeline.

Under Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan the 49ers have done a nice job retaining their home-grown stars. Those long-term contracts typically come late in the offseason either right before camp or early in camp. For defensive end Nick Bosa it took until the week the season started. Doing it that way gave the team the maximum amount of time to negotiate a deal while also using soft deadlines like training camp start dates as leverage.

Now it sounds like San Francisco could be rethinking that strategy after recent negotiations with Bosa and WR Deebo Samuel bled into camp and limited some of their preparations for the season.

“I think there is human nature is that deadlines force these things, but I think you can always learn from situations and you’d be a fool not to,” Lynch said. “I’d like to have our business tidied up a little. Those things, they ran the course they needed to. I’m proud of our record of getting the guys we want to get done, done. But I’m right there with everyone else. I’d sure like it to happen sooner.”

This could be genuine reflection from Lynch and an indication that the club believes dragging out negotiations is somehow damaging for players who have the contract lingering over them throughout the offseason. It might also be lip service since hoping a deal happens sooner than later has been a common theme for the 49ers during these types of negotiations.

Fans would certainly love to see the club shrink the timeline on such deals though. An offseason where Aiyuk speculation is ceased well before training camp would be boring, but a welcome reprieve from the standard turbulent offseason contract negotiations.


Story originally appeared on Niners Wire