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The 49ers want to keep him, but they want to keep a lot of players

On Tuesday while speaking at the NFL Combine, John Lynch was asked the obvious question about the San Francisco 49ers’ plans for wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. John Lynch answered with this:

And that’s probably an obvious answer. But some may want to think it’s almost a guarantee an extension gets worked out, right? Open and shut deal, the 49ers get it done? Same thing with Nick Bosa. Pretty strong words.

Not so fast.

While fans are feeling optimistic when the 49ers GM is saying those things, some context is in order. More importantly, we’ve heard this before from the 49ers and things just didn’t work out:

So some context to point out before we go any further. That first quote came in late December of 2018, a good year and a half before the surprising Buckner trade. Regardless, the 49ers were open and high on getting Buckner to stick around. They just wouldn’t meet in the middle.

For those of you new to the program or repressed this disappointing turn of events. DeForest Buckner was going into his 5th year option in 2020. Everyone was wondering how the 49ers would work out a deal for him along with other pieces so they could remain competitive. Unfortunately, one of Buckner also meant three other contracts, among other things, so the 49ers traded him to the Indianapolis Colts for a first round pick that would become Javon Kinlaw.

This isn’t a post to insinuate Lynch—or the 49ers by extension—is/are lying—there’s no doubt they want to keep Aiyuk around if you look at the history of transparency with this group. What it’s for is to point out these things are said often and it really could go to the wayside come negotiation time. The 49ers want to have Aiyuk for a long time. That much is obvious. On the other end is Aiyuk wanting a deal. It’s all been overanalyzing and speculating on what he wants his NFL future to be outside of quotes following a devastating championship loss. We simply won’t know until he signs on the dotted line or some reports come out on what’s going on. Both sides have to reach an agreement. Just because the 49ers are wanting to bring him back and pay him a wad of cash doesn’t mean a deal gets done. They’d want to keep everyone. Yes, they’ve said this and held onto Nick Bosa, George Kittle, and soon Brock Purdy, but every situation is different.

While the 49ers definitely want Aiyuk back, it’s going to depend on what Aiyuk wants and what his salary is. With Mike Evans expected to hit free agency, that could make Aiyuk even more expensive if the 49ers wait to get the deal done. Good thing the 49ers have money with that adjusted cap.

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