Jerry Rice’s Ratings on Brandon Aiyuk’s 49ers Contract Extension Prospects – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

Jerry Rice's Ratings on Brandon Aiyuk's 49ers Contract Extension Prospects – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

STATELINE, Nev. — Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has yet to receive a contract extension as the countdown begins to the opening of 49ers training camp.

While Aiyuk’s uncertain contract status has been a major topic during the transfer window, the greatest receiver in football history has stressed that what happens on the pitch should take priority.

“I think his main focus right now, Brandon Aiyuk, is just playing football,” Rice told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday at the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

“Play football and let his ability speak for itself, and we’ll see what happens after the season. That’s under his control. That’s what you want.”

Aiyuk is looking to extend his long-term contract before the start of the season. Aiyuk is set to play this season under a fifth-year option worth $14.124 million.

If the 49ers and Aiyuk can’t come to an agreement on a contract, he may have to play out this season under his current deal. After that, he’ll be eligible for unrestricted free agency in the upcoming transfer window.

Of course, the 49ers could also select him as a featured player next year, which could open the door to potential trade options. Aiyuk is expected to become one of the highest-paid receivers in the league with his next contract.

“I think he would have loved to have that security already, and not have to really think about it and he could go play football, but still have the opportunity where he could show his ability,” Rice said.

“I think the most important thing for him now is to play his best football. He has to prove to everyone that he is the No. 1 man. And if you make me the No. 1 man, I will be productive.”

Aiyuk led the 49ers in receptions and receiving yards the past two seasons. He had 75 receptions for a career-high 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns in 2023 while being named a second-team All-Pro.

While Rice said he could not make any predictions about how Aiyuk’s contract would be resolved, he added that he did not want the issue to stand in the way of the team’s success.

“That’s up to the administration,” Rice said. “They make the decisions. They do all these things. We’ll see what happens, though. But we can’t let this be a distraction or anything like that because eventually that door will close. And we’re so close now, so we have to take advantage of this opportunity.”

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