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Do 49ers want Brandon Aiyuk? A look at where things stand amid WR's contract dispute

The Brandon Aiyuk-San Francisco 49ers contract negotiations took a public turn on Monday.

The wide receiver posted a video on TikTok in which he tells Washington Commanders rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels, whom Aiyuk played with at Arizona State, "They said they don't want me back."

The post, which Aiyuk captioned, "Im laughing but im crying fr," created waves and renewed speculation that the Niners could trade the talented receiver.

To borrow a phrase from James Rebhorn's character Albert Nimzicki in Independence Day, Aiyuk's claim is "not entirely accurate."

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday on The Insiders that the Niners certainly want to retain Aiyuk long-term but haven't been able to bridge the money gap.

According to Rapoport, the negotiations have not been "completely dead" as the sides continue to work on a solution.

Aiyuk seeks a new contract that aligns with the kind of dollars the Detroit Lions' Amon-Ra St. Brown signed for this offseason -- roughly $28 million per year average over the first three years of the deal. The 49ers aren't there yet, per Rapoport.

What exact message Aiyuk was trying to relay by posting the video remains unclear, but the looming question moving further into the NFL's quiet period is whether the Niners are willing to bridge whatever gap remains and to what extent Aiyuk is willing to hold out (or hold in) to get a new deal.

The Niners have dealt with contract disputes with star players the past two offseasons. In 2022, Deebo Samuel held in until he landed a new deal. Last year, Nick Bosa stayed away before eventually inking a deal that made him the highest-paid non-quarterback at the time.

In the latest negotiations, there is still time for sides to find common ground on a solution before things get more wobbly.

If a deal isn't done by training camp in late July, the Aiyuk storyline gets a bit more interesting, with a full-blown holdout or hold-in becoming a major talking point.

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