Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers came up just short of the ultimate goal of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, falling to the Kansas City Chiefs 25-22 in overtime of Super Bowl LVIII. Now, the franchise embarks into an offseason where they'll look to retool in hopes of making another title run in 2024. One of the biggest questions hovering over the team -- specifically the offense -- is the status of wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk

The wideout is entering the final year of his rookie contract after the Niners picked up his fifth-year option last April. With Aiyuk essentially in a lame-duck year, the thought is that he could be a trade candidate if he and the team can't come to terms on a long-term extension. Given that San Francisco doesn't have much cap space to work with and other skill-position players already locked in with hefty contracts, it's possible his days in the Bay Area could be numbered.  

On Tuesday, a dejected Aiyuk, who admitted that this latest defeat was the toughest loss of his career, met with reporters and was specifically asked if he hopes to remain with the franchise. 

"If that's the right move, yeah," he told reporters

When asked further what that right move would look like, he answered, "Being a champion."

Brandon Aiyuk
SF • WR • #11
REC YDs1342
View Profile

Aiyuk has spent his entire career with the 49ers as the team drafted him with the No. 25 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Arizona State. Since then, the soon-to-be 26-year-old has blossomed into one of the most efficient receivers in the league and was a key cog in San Francisco's offense this past season. He averaged 17.9 yards per reception and caught 71.4% of his passes in the regular season, which were both career highs as were his receiving yards total (1,342). 

While his future with the 49ers may be murky at the moment, he should be considered one of the top young pass catchers in the league, which should fetch him a lucrative extension somewhere in the league.