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49ers star George Kittle weighs in on Brandon Aiyuk contract talk: ‘I don’t know how we don’t keep Brandon’

The biggest story coming out of the San Francisco 49ers’ camp during draft week is not about what they are going to do with the No. 31 overall pick, but rather what happens with star wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. 

With Aiyuk set to play on his fifth-year option in 2024, the wideout wants a long-term extension from the 49ers, and since they have not been able to see eye to eye there, he has reportedly requested a trade. 

“I wouldn’t anticipate that,” GM John Lynch said Monday.

Lynch did not put a definitive “no” on the table, and considering Aiyuk has hinted at his displeasure with the team, including unfollowing them on social media, the rumors will keep Aiyuk’s Niners future in limbo until something is done. 

While this has been going on, Aiyuk’s teammate, star tight end George Kittle, has talked to him about the situation. 

“I talked to B.A. multiple times throughout the offseason just going through the contract negotiations,” Kittle told Fox News Digital, while shooting an ad for Fast Twitch, a new Gatorade energy drink. “It is tough sometimes because you’re talking to people who you’ve been with them three to four years and you guys are arguing about what your worth is, which is an uncomfortable conversation from time to time, and you might not see eye to eye.”


Kittle was in a similar position as Aiyuk in 2020, when he was set to play on the final year of his rookie deal. He was coming off another season when he totaled over 1,000 yards receiving with five touchdowns, and it was among the best at his position in the NFL. 

Meanwhile, Aiyuk put up his best season in Year 4, hauling in 75 of his 105 targets for 1,342 yards with seven touchdowns over 16 regular-season games. His yards total was good for seventh in the league in that category. 

Kittle said he explained his situation to Aiyuk, telling him to have some patience during this process.

George Kittle celebrates with Brandon Aiyuk

“I haven’t asked the details of his contract or anything like that, but it’s just more of a, ‘Hey, be patient.’ It’s just kind of the way the Niners do things. I didn’t sign my contract until two-and-a-half weeks into training camp, and that’s pretty stressful when you have to go out there and practice while doing a deal,” Kittle explained. “So, I told him, ‘Be patient, continue to work on your craft, don’t let anything distract you. Just go out and be yourself every single day.’ He’s in the right state of mind, the right space. I’m not worried about Brandon.”

For Aiyuk to put up those numbers considering players like Kittle, Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel are around him is very impressive. In fact, it was wide receiver one numbers, and that is what Aiyuk is looking to get paid as, but nothing has come to fruition. 

However, Kittle is certainly hoping common ground is found soon.

“Me, on the outside looking in, I don’t know how we don’t keep Brandon as a 49er for as long as he wants to be one because he’s such a talented player,” he said. “If you give a guy like that 120 targets, you guys are going to see absolutely crazy things. And he did that with almost no targets this year when you’re competing with four or five guys to get the ball. 

“He’s a true wide receiver one, and he’s going to get what he deserves.”

George Kittle looks at Brandon Aiyuk

Draft week is the best time to get deals done, but Kittle wants the Niners’ high-octane offense to remain intact. He even took a contract restructure on his five-year, $75 million deal for this season to save cap space to give Lynch more room to make the right moves. 

Fans will see if one of those moves is to ink Aiyuk to his next big deal. Kittle knows he deserves it.

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