Brandon Aiyuk would 'love' to stay with 49ers amid contract talks

Aiyuk would 'love' to be 49er amid contract extension talks originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Brandon Aiyuk knows there is work to be done off the field if he wants to continue putting up numbers for the 49ers in the 2023 NFL season.

In an exclusive interview with TheSFNiners, the 49ers wide receiver explained how he "loves" being in the Bay Area and with the 49ers but understands the NFL is a business.

"My family loves being here but at the end of the day, like we spoke earlier, I'm a competitor, I want to compete, I want to maximize everything that I have in my body and put it on display as a football player when I put on that name on the back of my jersey," Aiyuk said.

"As for the front of the jersey, I would love to be a 49er. But like I spoke to earlier, this is a business. I got a couple of people that share my last name that I have to take care of."

The 24-year-old is entering the final year of the rookie scale contract he signed when he was selected by the 49ers with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. In the 2022 NFL season, Aiyuk had 1,000-plus receiving yards for the first time in his career, finishing with 1,015 yards on 78 receptions.

A fan favorite in the Bay, Aiyuk is turning himself into a more complete receiver under the tutelage of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and the rest of San Francisco's coaching staff.

Aiyuk believes he and the 49ers have to negotiate in good faith so both sides get what they properly deserve, which is sustained production from Aiyuk and a salary to match said production.

"So if they want to take care of me, then I would love to be," Aiyuk said regarding if he wants to stay in the Bay Area. "But we all know it's much harder than that. It's a tough business, it's hard work, every player has a vision of what they want to be as a player and they want to be able to fully show that and be compensated for that.

"So the ball isn't in my court ... if they want me to be a 49er, I'm sure we can get that done so we'll have to see."

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While it remains to be seen how the 49ers and Aiyuk will resolve the contract situation, it appears the latter is letting the situation play out as he focuses on next season.

And after the 49ers' disappointing loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, surely there has to be added motivation on both sides to get a deal done.

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