Brandon Aiyuk stays vague about future with 49ers in wake of Super Bowl loss, cryptic social media posts

Brandon Aiyuk stays vague about future with 49ers in wake of Super Bowl loss, cryptic social media posts

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk had a quiet showing in the team’s 25-22 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII. Since then, the chatter surrounding his future has been quite loud.

The 25-year-old is headed into the final year of his rookie contract since the 49ers picked up his fifth-year option last April. On Tuesday, he addressed reporters in the 49ers’ locker room. Emotional and covering his eyes with sunglasses, he admitted that the loss was the most difficult defeat of his career. He stayed vague about where he hopes his career will take him next.

“If that’s the right move, yeah,” Aiyuk answered when asked if he’d like to remain in San Francisco. In response to a follow-up question about what the right move would look like, he said, “Being a champion.”

[For more on 49ers’ Super Bowl heartbreak, check out Yahoo Sports NFL]

He turned around to face his locker and said “That’s all I got,” when a question about his journey with the team almost brought him to tears.

LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 11: Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on prior to Super Bowl LVIII against the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

Brandon Aiyuk might be moving on from the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

Aiyuk recorded three catches on six targets for 49 yards in Sunday’s loss, a departure from the performance that saw his miraculous catch spark San Francisco’s comeback against the Detroit Lions in the NFC championship.

Aiyuk is a potential trade candidate if he and the team can’t agree on a long-term extension, and social media posts from the wideout and his inner circle after the Super Bowl suggest that negotiations might not be easy.

On Monday after the loss, Aiyuk posted a black Instagram story captioned “Don’t forget what got you there” with eye emojis.

Earlier that day, his girlfriend, Rochelle Searight, posted a TikTok that implied Aiyuk’s days with the 49ers are numbered.

“This might have been the last day we touched foot on Levi’s Stadium,” she said in the video, “Because we might not be out here next season.” She captioned the video “Happy 49ers Travel Day of Shame,” explaining that she was picking up Aiyuk after the Super Bowl heartbreaker.

Even Aiyuk’s friend and former teammate, Draysean Hudson, made public comments about Aiyuk’s future in a series of Instagram stories.

“This is the exact same reason we leaving San Francisco,” Hudson wrote. “Thank you 49ers for drafting my brother we are forever grateful. BA to Vegas.”

Hudson went on to post a video of 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy being pressured by Chiefs tackle Chris Jones and throwing an incompletion while Aiyuk was wide open for a touchdown.

“Why does your All-Pro 1300-yard receiver have 3 catches in the Super Bowl,” Hudson added with a pair of eyeball emojis.Brandon AiyukWR – SF – #11

2023-24 regular season

Aiyuk entered the league when the 49ers drafted him with the No. 25 pick in 2020 out of Arizona State. He has posted four solid seasons with the team since then, recording a total of 3,931 yards and 25 touchdowns in his career. This season, he snagged 75 catches for 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch were asked about Aiyuk during their end-of-season news conference on Tuesday.

“Of course you want a guy like Brandon Aiyuk to be a part of you moving forward,” Lynch said, “We’re extremely prideful in what he’s become and he should be as well.”

Lynch added that the team has a lot to prioritize in a battle against the salary cap this offseason.

The more good players you get, the tougher decisions you have,” he said. “Brandon’s been a fantastic player for us, Kyle [Shanahan] calls him a warrior all the time because of the way he goes out and competes. That shines through anybody whether you’re a trained or whether you’re a fan. You can see the passion that he plays with.