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Kyle Shanahan sends clear message about Brandon Aiyuk contract dispute

Kyle Shanahan in a 49ers cap

Oct 3, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan walks on the field before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk did not report to organized team activities this week as he seeks a new contract, and Kyle Shanahan had a clear message about the situation.

Following Tuesday’s practice, Shanahan was asked about Aiyuk and the other 49ers players who are not participating in OTAs. The head coach said he understands the business side of the NFL but is “looking forward to the days when we just focus on football.”

“(I feel the) same as I do about all these guys that aren’t here. I mean, I wish they were here, but it’s something that’s part of the business,” Shanahan said, via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. “Anytime it’s the business part, you try to respect it, stay out of it as much as possible. I look forward to the days when we just focus on football.”

Aiyuk and the 49ers do not appear to be close to an extension, but the situation is a familiar one for San Francisco. Star pass-rusher Nick Bosa held out for the majority of last offseason before signing a massive extension prior to Week 1. Even if that does not happen with Aiyuk, it does not sound like the Niners are exploring potential trade scenarios for the former first-round pick.

The 49ers drafted former Florida star wide receiver Ricky Pearsall with the 31st overall pick. That led to even more speculation that they could trade Aiyuk or even Deebo Samuel, but general manager John Lynch tried to put that talk to rest a few days later.

Aiyuk had his best season as a pro in 2023 with 75, 1,342 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is set to make $14.124 million next season in the final year of his rookie contract. He was open about his frustration with the 49ers several weeks back, but the tension seems to have cooled a bit.

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