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Brandon Aiyuk took to social media right after signing his contract to say that the amount of money he received was insufficient.

Brandon Aiyuk’s social media post immediately after contract negotiation strategy


Brandon Aiyuk sent the 49ers fan internet into a frenzy on Monday with a simple Instagram post. The All-Pro wide receiver posted a series of emojis on his post, which roughly translates to “money talk, horned cow defecating on walk.”

The only reason this doesn’t become a textbook game for players negotiating contracts is that it wasn’t arcane enough. The message was loud and clear (though not particularly innovative): Aiyuk wants to get paid.

It’s no secret that Aiyuk wants to win a legendary title this offseason. It’s no secret that the All-Pro hopeful will earn his second NFL contract. Aiyuk’s post is a typical move to achieve the best possible negotiation through the people.

General manager John Lynch will say the right things publicly about how he is working towards a deal and whether he wants Aiyuk to stay long-term, so he taps his phone a few times. You can control the discussion just by doing so.

He also said the 49ers would have no problem letting Aiyuk exercise his fifth-year option.
While Lynch does that, Aiyuk can try to get the fans excited and put some outside pressure on the 49ers. But that’s the extent of the damage he can do with one social media post.

The 49ers front office hasn’t seen Aiyuk’s IG stories, but they have some kind of revelation that they might have to pay him top-5 WR money.

Since the start of the 2023 season, they have had zero points. He had an outstanding 2022 and an even better 2023.

There are a million reasons why they want to keep him in the building.

If contract negotiations with other players are even slightly beneficial, we can expect the same to happen in the future.

At some point, there will be another social media post from Aiyuk or someone close to him indicating that he is out. Teams and people will be followed and unfollowed on social media.


Photos and posts will be deleted. There may also be demand for public trading. Ultimately, none of these public negotiation tactics matter because they are not exceptional.

We’ve seen it many times, and the 49ers’ negotiation process doesn’t change at all.

Even if Aiyuk says the right thing, Lynch won’t change his negotiating policy. What matters is what happens behind closed doors.

It’s clear the 49ers want to keep Aiyuk, but there will be a price to pay. It remains to be seen whether Aiyuk’s price will drop below the level the 49ers want.

Those negotiations are certainly underway on some level, but they’ve likely not begun in earnest.

There are two deadlines, one hard and one soft. The hard deadline is the 2024 NFL draft which starts on Thursday, April 25.

If San Francisco is going to trade Aiyuk it’s likely they’d want to do so by Day 1 of the draft to ensure they’re maximizing their return in a way that will help them this season.

The soft deadline is the start of training camp. The 49ers have typically taken care of business with long-term extensions right before or at the start of training camp.

Defensive end Nick Bosa appeared to continue negotiating a new contract into the first week of the regular season, but that wasn’t a normal schedule for San Francisco and its star player.

It is unlikely that Aiyuk’s story will have a smooth road to its conclusion. No matter the outcome, there will be twists and turns.


We don’t know how this is going to end, but we do know from cryptic and not-so-cryptic posts on social media that things aren’t going one way or the other.

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