Sadly, 49ers Begin OTAs with Key Players Absent: Contract Talks Loom

Outside of Levi’s Stadium, on the 49ers’ practice grounds, organized team exercises are in progress.

Fans shouldn’t be concerned if important veterans are still working out independently elsewhere or healing from injuries sustained during the team’s journey to the Super Bowl last season because this final phase of the offseason program is still optional.

The first OTA practice on Monday was held behind closed doors, so reporters won’t be able to participate until Tuesday afternoon. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is one athlete that is highly regarded by all.

Neither the 49ers nor Aiyuk’s agent, Ryan Williams, could confirm if the player was in Santa Clara as of Monday afternoon. Until the regular season commences, the 49ers usually do not release the names of the players that work out, especially when it comes to optional exercises like OTAs.

Aiyuk is expected to play on the fifth-year team option of his rookie contract, which is worth $14.1 million, until an extension is signed.

OTAs are not a deadline for contract extensions, like the one Aiyuk is seeking, regardless of who could be missing during a contract holdout.

By rewarding those transactions later in the summer, usually at the start of training camp in late July, the 49ers are following their business model.

A 49ers Pro Bowl player has signed an extension late in the summer in each of the previous four seasons; in the case of last year, it wasn’t signed until shortly before the season began:

George Kittle, tight end: August 13, 2020 (5 years, $75 million)

Fred Warner, a linebacker, will be 51 on July 21, 2021 (5 years/$95 million).

Deebo Samuel, a wide receiver: July 31, 2022 (3 years/$72 million)

Nick Bosa, defensive end: September 6, 2023 (5 years/$170 million)

The more important date to discuss any contract disputes is July 24, if the 49ers report to training camp as scheduled.

Entering the final season of their current contract, the 49ers are led by Aiyuk; safety Talanoa Hufanga; linebacker Dre Greenlaw; cornerbacks Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir; and guards Aaron Banks and Jon Feliciano.

Ward, a second-team All-Pro and inaugural Pro Bowler from the previous campaign, talked about his contract situation on Kay Adams’ “Up and Adams Show” on Monday morning.

“Miss Kay, I’m attempting to obtain that bag,” Ward stated, explaining that he was in the final year of a three-year, $40 million contract. “I simply need to go out there, have my best year, and surpass last year’s performance. I’ll let everything sort themselves out. I’m hoping to get that bag the following year.

This season, Ward is expected to earn a basic salary of $12.6 million, which places him third on the 49ers after left tackle Trent Williams ($20.1 million) and wide receiver Deebo Samuel ($21 million).

Ward added that he is still healing from the core-muscle surgery he had in February. After a similar procedure following the Super Bowl, Kittle is likewise recuperating.

Leave a Reply

Deal Agreed: Razorbacks’ John Calipari Scouts Five-Star Prospect

Huge Blow: As Kansas City Chiefs Loses Another Running Back.

Back to Top