Seeing San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk blossom into one of the better wideouts in the NFL has to bring a smile to John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan’s faces. A once-inconsistent receiver has become one of the most reliable targets in the league.
Aiyuk is expected to be rewarded this offseason with a massive contract — one that he’s earned. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport believes the ball is in the 49ers court:
“I haven’t heard anything yet, but I do think it’s on the 49ers, right? This is who you should want to pay, homegrown talent. Someone who, you guys remember, when he first got there, I wasn’t sure this was going to work out. It didn’t seem like Kyle Shanahan was that thrilled.”
I’d push back on the final part from Ian, as Shanahan raves about Aiyuk every time he speaks about him. Kyle’s been adamant that BA was never in the “doghouse.”
Rapoport continued: “Aiyuk has worked his way toward being one of the best receivers in the NFL. And contracts are always a battle, obviously, as we saw with the Nick Bosa one this year. These are the guys that you should want to pay, and I do think the 49ers will eventually.”
The only reason Aiyuk isn’t mentioned among the best receivers in the NFL is that he doesn’t have the same volume as the others. So it’ll be interesting to see how contract negotiations work out in that sense. Do the 49ers hold that against Brandon? Will another team make an offer for Aiyuk that the Niners can’t refuse?
But to Rapoport’s point, Aiyuk represents the 49ers culture. The Niners are also his mom’s favorite team: