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Javon Kinlaw, Brandon Aiyuk agree to rookie deals with 49ers, joining handful of first-round picks to sign

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Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk are members of the San Francisco 49ers, officially. They become just the fourth and fifth first-round picks, along with Tua Tagavailoa and Austin Jackson of the Miami Dolphins and Derrick Brown of the Carolina Panthers to sign their rookie deals. With rookie contracts, there’s not all the much room for negotiation, so it becomes a matter of when, not if they sign.

One of the main sources of potential holdouts, and one which was a potential concern for Nick Bosa last season, given that it happened with his brother, Joey Bosa, is offset language, and how a player’s signing bonus is paid out. Often, players want as much money up front as possible, while teams tend to want to spread that bonus money over time.

The holdout for Joey Bosa came from this debate over offset language, as NFL agent Leigh Steinberg outlines here:

“Some first-round contracts are totally guaranteed for skill and injury over the first four years. If a player with a guaranteed contract is cut in his fourth year, for example, the team is still obligated to pay the salary to him. What teams often propose is language that would deduct money the player receives in the same year from another team from the total the original team is obligated to pay. They assert that such a player is being paid twice for the same service, and the issue has been settled in a variety of ways.”

In essence, if a player gets cut before their four-year deal is up, their guaranteed money is lessened by the amount they earn elsewhere. Per ProFootballTalk, most teams, aside from the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams, have started to remove offset language entirely, but offset language was not removed in the new CBA as a bargaining point.

The following comes from the 49ers:

The San Francisco 49ers today announced they have signed DL Javon Kinlaw and WR Brandon Aiyuk to four-year deals.

Kinlaw (6-6, 310) was selected by the 49ers as the 14th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft out of South Carolina. He appeared in 37 games (34 starts) in three seasons at South Carolina (2017-19) and registered 93 tackles, 18.0 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. As a senior in 2019, he was named Associated Press First-Team All-America, starting all 12 games in which he appeared and registering 35 tackles, 6.0 sacks and two fumble recoveries. In 2018, he started all 12 games in which he appeared, registering 38 tackles, 10.0 tackles for loss and a team-high 4.5 sacks. Kinlaw transferred to South Carolina in 2017 where he played in 13 games (10 starts) and recorded 20 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. As a freshman in 2016 at Jones County (Ellisville, MS) Junior College, he recorded 26 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

A 22-year-old native of Charleston, SC, Kinlaw attended Goose Creek (Charleston, SC) High School.

Aiyuk (6-1, 206) was selected by the 49ers as the 25th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft out of Arizona State. He appeared in 25 games in two seasons (2018-19) at Arizona State and registered 98 receptions for 1,666 yards and 11 touchdowns in addition to returning 28 kickoff returns for 760 yards (27.1 average) and 25 punt returns for 293 yards (11.7 average) and one touchdown on special teams. As a senior in 2019, he earned Third-Team All-America honors after appearing in 12 games and recording 65 receptions for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns. He also added 14 kickoff returns for 446 yards (31.9 average) and 14 punt returns for 226 yards (16.1 average) and one touchdown. He played in all 13 games as a junior in 2018 after transferring to Arizona State, recording 33 receptions for 474 yards and three touchdowns and added 14 kickoff returns for 314 yards (22.4 average) and 11 punt returns for 67 yards (6.1 average). Aiyuk played two seasons (2016-17) at Sierra (Rocklin, CA) College where he appeared in 20 games and recorded 89 receptions for 1,533 yards and 19 touchdowns. He appeared in 10 games as a sophomore in 2017, registering 60 receptions for 960 yards and 14 touchdowns. As a freshman in 2016, he recorded 29 receptions for 573 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games.

A 22-year-old native of Reno, NV, Aiyuk attended Robert McQueen (Reno, NV) High School.

As of now, only tight end Charlie Woerner, the 49ers’ fifth-round selection, has not signed his rookie deal.

 

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