Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb, 49ers' Brandon Aiyuk skip start of mandatory minicamps, officially signaling holdouts

Amid an explosion in the NFL's wide receiver market, a pair of prominent pass-catchers have started official holdouts as they seek to join the party.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and San Francisco 49ers receiver Brandon Aiyuk each skipped the start of their teams' mandatory minicamps on Tuesday. Both are seeking long-term extensions as they approach the final year of their rookie contracts.

Lamb and Aiyuk were both first-round selections in the 2020 draft and are under contract for 2024 via team options exercised by the Cowboys and 49ers. Lamb is due $17.9 million in 2024 after earning $14.1 million over the first four years of his rookie deal. Aiyuk is due $14.1 million after earning $12.5 million in his first four seasons. Each has outplayed his rookie deal and is in line for a lucrative long-term extension.

CeeDee Lamb is not present at the start of the Cowboys' mandatory minicamp. (Jasen Vinlove/Reuters)
CeeDee Lamb is not present at the start of the Cowboys' mandatory minicamp. (Jasen Vinlove/Reuters)

They begin their holdouts a day after Justin Jefferson and the Minnesota Vikings reset the wide receiver market with a four-year, $140 million contract extension. His $35 million average annual salary makes Jefferson the highest-paid non-quarterback in football.

Jefferson's contract tops a three-year, $96 million extension A.J. Brown signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in April, putting further pressure on the Cowboys and 49ers to pay up for Lamb and Aiyuk.

(Taylar Sievert/Yahoo Sports)
(Taylar Sievert/Yahoo Sports)

A three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, Lamb is surely seeking a contract near the top of the market after leading the league in receptions last season. Lamb tallied 135 catches for 1,749 yards and 12 touchdowns to cement his status in the top tier of NFL receivers.

Aiyuk's not on the same plane, but put himself in line for a big extension with a breakout campaign for a 49ers team that made the Super Bowl last season. Aiyuk tallied 75 catches for 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns as an integral weapon in San Francisco's offense.

Aiyuk begins his holdout the same day 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey agreed to a two-year, $38 million contract extension that raises his salary by $4 million in each of the next two seasons and adds $24 million in guaranteed money. McCaffrey is the highest-paid running back in football.

Per the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, Lamb and Aiyuk are each subject to a $16,953 fine for missing minicamp on Tuesday. If they were to miss all three days of minicamp, their fines would escalate to roughy $100,000 in total.