Kyle Shanahan breaks silence on Brandon Aiyuk and Christian McCaffrey's absences from OTAs

kyle shanahan breaks silence on brandon aiyuk and christian mccaffrey's absences from otas

The 49ers were missing Brandon Aiyuk and Christian McCaffrey from OTAs

Both players decided to sit out the voluntary spring workouts.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has spoken out regarding the absences of wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and running back Christian McCaffrey from the team's organized team activities (OTAs).

Shanahan: I wish Aiyuk & McCaffrey were here

In an interview on the Pro Football Talk Show, Shanahan acknowledged the voluntary nature of these sessions but expressed a preference for full participation.

"Now, just like everyone else. It is voluntary. I mean, not too concerned about Christian," Shanahan stated.

"I wish they were here but it's something that's part of the business."

McCaffrey, a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, was notably absent from this year's OTAs despite his impressive performance last season.

The star running back led the NFL with 2,023 yards from scrimmage and 21 touchdowns, playing a pivotal role in the 49ers' NFC title run and their narrow Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

At 27 years old, McCaffrey is in the final two years of a four-year, $64 million contract extension and is set to turn 28 on June 7.

Shanahan downplayed concerns about McCaffrey's absence, saying he was unsure if it was related to contract issues.

"I'm not sure if that is the case on any of those guys," Shanahan said.

"I'm not throwing them all in who's here for that reason, who's not. But it is all voluntary, so we'll see when it becomes mandatory."

Mandatory minicamp for the 49ers is scheduled from June 2-4, which will provide more clarity on the participation of key players.

Aiyuk's contract situation is complicated

Aiyuk, who had his best professional season in 2023 with 75 receptions, 1,342 yards, and 7 touchdowns, is entering the final year of his rookie contract.

He is slated to earn $14.124 million next season and has been vocal about his contract frustrations.

Despite the absence, Shanahan expressed understanding of the business side of the NFL.

"(I feel the) same as I do about all these guys that aren't here. I mean, I wish they were here, but it's something that's part of the business," Shanahan said, via ESPN's Nick Wagoner.

"Anytime it's the business part, you try to respect it, stay out of it as much as possible. I look forward to the days when we just focus on football."

The 49ers drafted wide receiver Ricky Pearsall in the first round this year, which sparked speculation about potential trades involving Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel.

However, general manager John Lynch has dismissed such rumors.

Aiyuk's situation is not unique within the 49ers organization.

Last season, star pass-rusher Nick Bosa held out for most of the offseason before securing a substantial extension just before Week 1.

While an extension for Aiyuk seems uncertain, the team has not indicated any interest in trading him.

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