49ers Re-Sign Jauan Jennings to $15,400,00 Contract: Is Brandon Aiyuk’s Future in San Francisco in Doubt?

The 49ers made one crucial decision in their wide receiver room with Jauan Jennings. Here's a closer look at what the veteran will now earn.

The San Francisco 49ers will be holding on to veteran wide receiver Jauan Jennings a little longer.

Once considered a fringe prospect to remain on the roster, especially with June 1 cuts looming, the restricted free agent will sign a two-year deal to stay in the Bay. ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter was the first to report the move on Wednesday.

But following Jennings’ contract, many still wonder what the fate will be for Brandon Aiyuk as the two-time 1,000-yard receiver is awaiting his new deal.

What Jauan Jennings’ New Deal With 49ers Looks Like

Jennings and the 49ers agreed to a $15.4 million contract, but that’s not all. Jennings will earn up to $10.5 million guaranteed money.

While not considered the leading wide receiver for the 49ers — especially in a WR room with Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel — Jennings has played a pivotal role for the Niners when called upon.

He was last seen both throwing a touchdown pass and catching one during Super Bowl 58 against the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s also established himself as a go-to target on third down.

Per 49ers insider Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News, Jennings has caught 40 third-down catches, with 32 resulting in first downs.

Jennings joined the 49ers as a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He spent the first part of his 49ers run on the practice squad before joining the WR rotation during the 2021 season.

MORE: Who Are the NFL’s Highest-Paid WRs in 2024?

Jennings responded by snatching 24 catches for 282 yards and five touchdowns, including a late fourth-quarter touchdown in Week 18 against the Los Angeles Rams that kept the 49ers’ playoff hopes alive that year.

The Jennings signing, however, creates added scrutiny of the wide receiver department for the 49ers.

What’s Next for Brandon Aiyuk, Rest of 49ers’ WR Room

Already, the 49ers raised questions across the league during the 2024 NFL Draft.

After many believed San Francisco would address edge rusher, offensive tackle, or interior defensive line help first, the Niners instead pivoted to wide receiver through Ricky Pearsall. The Florida WR went at No. 31 overall to the NFC champs. However, he received a Day 2 draft grade from Pro Football Network.

Pearsall’s selection first raised the belief that the 49ers were shopping Aiyuk through a draft trade. However, general manager John Lynch squashed those thoughts with reporters after the second day of the draft, revealing he’s completely on board with keeping Aiyuk.

Still, the heaviest scrutiny involves Aiyuk’s situation, especially after Jennings received his new deal. Aiyuk has produced back-to-back thousand-yard campaigns and has continuously improved each season for the 49ers. Yet, Aiyuk has been searching for a new deal this offseason.

Aiyuk’s current deal comes with a $14.1 million cap hit per Spotrac. He will become an unrestricted free agent after this season unless he and the 49ers reach a new agreement before the ’24 campaign kicks off.

MORE: San Francisco 49ers’ Depth Chart

Does Jennings’ deal indicate the writing on the wall for Aiyuk? The Athletic’s 49ers insider David Lombardi doesn’t think so.

“No, re-signing Jauan Jennings to a smart 2-year extension that increases cap flexibility is not ‘writing on the wall’ re: Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk,” Lombardi posted on X (formerly known as Twitter). “It’s simple: Yet another clear sign that the 49ers are committing to stockpiling the WR room for their MVP finalist at QB.”

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