Brandon Aiyuk will get paid by somebody at some point. The 49ers might not be able to afford to keep him, but the receiver isn’t sweating it.
The 49ers picked up Aiyuk’s fifth-year option, which will pay him $14.12 million fully guaranteed in 2024. He counts only $3.9 million against the cap this season.
“It’s just a crazy, crazy business, so you never really know,” Aiyuk said Wednesday, via David Bonilla of 49erswebzone.com. “But I was having fun with it. I knew what’s going on long before, so yeah. I didn’t know what was going on at first, but I had a conversation with [General Manager] John [Lynch], I had a conversation with [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan]. They told me what it was, and then from that point on, we moved forward.”
Aiyuk, 25, led the 49ers last season with career-highs in targets (114), catches (78) and receiving yards (1,015). He scored eight receiving touchdowns, which was second on the team.
He is not satisfied.
“I’m about to take off,” Aiyuk said. “That’s it. . . . We all know it’s football. Nothing’s ever guaranteed, but just getting a better understanding for my life as a person, and then as a football player, kind of putting those things together and then just looking to get better.
“I feel like, now, having another offseason [to build upon], coming out here again for another OTA spring ball, whatever you want to call it, being able to work with those guys, being able to work on my craft, being able to get better and just continue to look to get better. That’s really it.”
Aiyuk said people “for sure” have underrated him in three NFL seasons.
“That’s been my whole life,” he said. “That’s just how it’s been. But I feel like it’s supposed to be that way. That’s what keeps me going. That’s what keeps me motivated, keeps me angry.”