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Brandon Aiyuk still believes it's likely he's in a 'Niners uniform' in 2024 despite stalled contract talks

A lot of noise has been made recently over Brandon Aiyuk's future with the San Francisco 49ers, with the wide receiver occasionally conveying his unhappiness with the lack of progress in contract talks.

Nevertheless, speaking on earlier this week, Aiyuk indicated that he still believes he'll be wearing red and gold this fall -- although he did discuss possible trade suitors should things not work out.

"If I were to take a guess, probably a Niners uniform," Aiyuk said when asked what jersey he'll be wearing this season. "Probably a Niners uniform, but if not a Niners uniform, probably a Washington Commander uniform. If not a Washington Commanders uniform, then probably a Steelers uniform."

Trade talks swirled around Aiyuk heading into this year's NFL draft, as the wide receiver is entering the last year of his rookie contract and is slated to be paid significantly below what is considered the correct value equivalent to his contributions to the team.

While Aiyuk was not dealt -- even as San Francisco drafted another WR in Ricky Pearsall -- discussion on his future continued with Pittsburgh often mentioned as a potential destination. Aiyuk fanned the flames by posting a video of him talking to Washington Commanders rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels, saying, "(the 49ers) said they don't want me back."

When asked about the video, Aiyuk clarified exactly what was said in the meeting that led to his reaction.

"They told me that they didn't think that we're on the same page, and that they didn't believe we were going to, and that was about it at that time," he elaborated. "But it's part of it, it's part of that contract negotiations, trying to sway stuff in either direction, so whether that's 100 percent true or not, I guess that's still to find out."

Aiyuk's friendship with Daniels, who was in the audience for the podcast taping and was a teammate of Aiyuk's at Arizona State, is the main reason for his potential interest in joining Washington, while Pittsburgh has been tossed out as a possible landing spot due to its dearth of wide receiver depth.

But at this point, despite the sides still being unable to come to an agreement and his openness about what teams he would prefer to join if a trade materialized, Aiyuk was clear that he still wants to be with the 49ers, and is hopeful that the sides can come together on a deal.

"I feel like right now I'm in the right place, in the right spot, with the right quarterback, right now. But we're not on the right terms," he said.

After a month of not talking "much at all," according to Aiyuk, he referenced in his interview that he'd scheduled a meeting with the 49ers brass on Monday, saying "We'll see how it goes".

NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday that that meeting had been productive, with both sides agreeing to continue working towards an extension after the Fourth of July holiday.

Whether that hope of a resolution holds strong in the face of continued discussion is the question. And as this saga continues to stretch on with training camp approaching, what could the next chapter entail?

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