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Report: St. Brown contract the benchmark for Aiyuk's new deal

Michael Zagaris / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Brandon Aiyuk isn't necessarily trying to become the NFL's highest-paid receiver as he negotiates a new contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

The benchmark for Aiyuk's new deal is the pact the Detroit Lions gave wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

The Lions signed St. Brown to a four-year extension on April 24 worth $120.01 million, according to Spotrac. The pass-catcher's average annual salary ranks second in the NFL at his position, with Philadelphia Eagles receiver A.J. Brown recently signing a three-year deal at $32 million per year.

In addition to an annual average of just over $30 million, St. Brown's new contract includes $77 million in guaranteed money.

Fowler reports that Aiyuk's trying to beat St. Brown's yearly salary but that a deal isn't imminent.

The 49ers and Aiyuk have been negotiating a contract for months but aren't reportedly close to an agreement. The 26-year-old is entering the fifth year of his rookie contract, which is worth $14.1 million. Aiyuk could receive the franchise tag if the two sides can't negotiate an extension by March 2025.

San Francisco apparently entertained trade offers for Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel while trying to move up in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, but the team ultimately kept its top wide receivers. The Niners also used their first pick in this year's draft on wideout Ricky Pearsall.

A first-round pick in 2020, Aiyuk is coming off his most effective NFL season, catching 75 passes for 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns to earn a second-team All-Pro nod for the first time last year. The Arizona State product has topped 1,000 yards in the last two campaigns.

St. Brown, a 2021 fourth-round pick by the Lions, claimed a first-team All-Pro berth in 2023 after recording 1,515 yards and 10 TDs on 119 receptions.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson and Dallas Cowboys wideout CeeDee Lamb are also looking for lucrative deals. Jefferson is expected to reset the WR market and potentially become the highest-paid non-quarterback. Lamb - who hasn't attended his team's OTAs - is waiting for Jefferson to sign his new contract, according to Fowler.

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