Lynch confident all sides will find ‘best solution' on Aiyuk contract

Lynch confident all sides will find ‘best solution' on Aiyuk contract originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

INDIANAPOLIS — Re-signing wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is a high priority for 49ers general manager John Lynch.

San Francisco's front-office executive spoke to local Bay Area media Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine and shared where the two sides are on working out a future long-term contract extension.

“I think he’s our player, so we can have those conversations and we will,” Lynch said. “Brandon is a tremendous football player. He’s a homegrown guy. We like to reward those guys. He’s done everything in his power to help our team become the team that we’ve become, and we want Brandon to be around here.”

After the team’s Super Bowl LVIII loss, Aiyuk seemed unsure of his 49ers future when speaking to the media on locker clean-out day. The GM is empathetic to what the wideout had been through and believes that above all, Aiyuk would like to remain in the Bay.

“I think it starts with real good communication, letting Brandon know, which I have done,” Lynch said on "49ers Talk." “I have a great affinity for that young man. We drafted him, and to watch him develop and continually improve and the will that he plays with -- that’s something that we take a lot of pride in, and I know Brandon does.

“You can see the pride that he plays with on the field.”

Aiyuk remains under contract through the 2024 NFL season after being drafted in the first round (No. 25 overall) of the 2020 draft. Since his arrival to the Bay, Aiyuk has continued to improve each season, most recently tallying a career-best 1,342 receiving yards in in 2023.

“He’s made so many big plays,” Lynch said. “He’s a guy we want to be around. We will work really hard to make that a reality. There are a lot of different avenues to do so, but we just have to be thoughtful, we got to be communicative with Brandon and his representatives and we will be. And we will find the best solution for everybody involved.”

Last week, Lynch and the 49ers got an assist of sorts when the league announced that the NFL’s 2024 salary cap would rise a record $30 million. While that will allow the 49ers a little financial wiggle room, Lynch always has his eyes on the future.

As much as the team would like to reward Brock Purdy for his efforts in helping the team reach two NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl, that hurdle will come after the 2024 season. For now, the main focus is on reaching an agreement with Aiyuk.

“Brandon's one that we think incredibly highly of,” Lynch said. “One of my favorite just guys around our building, the way he approaches the game. He's a competitor. He's a warrior. He plays with such a physicality, also with a grace, the way some of the positions his body can get into.

“And then he's got a flair for making plays when it matters most. And he served us very well as a franchise. And I think we've got a nice track record of extending the players that are important to us, and Brandon's a guy we want to keep around for a long time.”

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