Brandon Aiyuk

Aiyuk brought to tears describing special 49ers teammates

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Brandon Aiyuk was holding back the tears as reporters questioned him on Tuesday during the 49ers’ locker clear-out day at the team’s facilities. 

The San Francisco wide receiver, who is heading into the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, was emotional and on the verge of tearing up as a reporter asked him what he was going to remember most about his 2023-24 team. 

“... Just guys that came in and worked to be champions every single day,” Aiyuk told reporters.

It was evident Aiyuk still was processing the 49ers’ 25-22 overtime Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, answering reporters with short-worded responses inside what was a somber locker room.

When the 25-year-old was asked if the 49ers’ latest playoff run had been the most painful yet, Aiyuk’s body language turned uncomfortable, tears ran down his face and he quickly closed down his availability to the press. 

“That’s all I got,” Aiyuk said.

With San Francisco’s offseason underway, one of the franchise’s main focuses will be Aiyuk, who has been primed for a lucrative contract extension since the start of the season. 

If the receiver and San Francisco can’t come to an extension that would reduce Aiyuk’s cap hit, it’s possible the 49ers can look to trade the playmaker, who is set to earn a guaranteed $14.1 million in 2024.

Aiyuk, who registered 49 receiving yards on three receptions at Allegiant Stadium against the Chiefs, finished the regular season with career-high stats. 

In 16 games played during the 2023 regular season, the receiver tallied 1,342 receiving yards – a team high – on 75 receptions while scoring seven touchdowns, eclipsing his 78 receptions for 1,015 yards in 2022.

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