Next season, Brandon Aiyuk will head into the final year of his rookie contract. If the 49ers extend him, here’s what the 24-year-old can stand to make.
When it comes to the San Francisco 49ers, we’re so quick to highlight Deebo Samuel and George Kittle as the team’s pass-catching superstars — so much so that Brandon Aiyuk can get lost in the shuffle. But if Aiyuk showed us anything this year, it’s that we shouldn’t sleep on him or his importance to San Francisco’s great season.
Aiyuk, 24, finished the 2022 season leading the team in targets, receptions, total yards, yards per game, and first downs, with the second-most reception TDs (8). Drafted 25th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, Aiyuk has been a top-three target on the Niners since he first entered the league, despite playing for multiple QBs.
“He has [crazy catches in practice] every day,” QB Jimmy Garoppolo said of Aiyuk in November. “It’s kind of becoming routine, honestly. His arms are so long that I’m learning his catch radius and how it’s just different… Some of those you do on purpose with the location of the defender and some, he just makes you look good as a quarterback, so you love having a guy like that.”
Aiyuk is entering the final year of his four-year, $12,531,342 rookie contract, in which he’s earned $1.7 million in 2022 and will earn $2.3 million in 2023. This brings us to his extension eligibility, which is right around the corner — whenever the 49ers’ 2023 offseason begins.
Let’s take a look at his comparable market value for the 2023 offseason.
What is Brandon Aiyuk’s 2023 Market Value?
Spotrac determines its own market value estimates based on a player’s age, contract status, and statistical production. It doesn’t take into account wins, awards, or playoff performance, but it’s a useful measuring stick when comparing other players’ contracts.
Projecting the size of a Brandon Aiyuk contract extension
- By Spotrac’s estimates, a first Aiyuk contract extension is pegged at four years and $63,102,364. That would rank No. 18 among WRs in terms of total value.
- His average annual salary is projected at $15,775,591, which would rank 25th among WRs in terms of average salary, one spot behind Adam Theilen.
Comparable WRs by Value
Comparable WRs by Stats
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The 49ers don’t necessarily need to rush the process by extending Aiyuk this offseason, but doing so would prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent following the 2023 season. Thus, they may want to preserve what they have on the offensive side and write a big fat check to their ascending WR.
As always, a player’s value can fluctuate based on how much revenue the league brings in and how much more money teams are allowed to spend next year. The Niners are no strangers to spending, especially when it comes to elite talent on offense. It just doesn’t seem like a move they’d feel pressured to make, the way it was with Deebo last year.
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