Aiyuk reveals Super Bowl qualm that played hand in 49ers frustration

Aiyuk reveals Super Bowl qualm that played hand in 49ers frustration originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Brandon Aiyuk is one of quarterback Brock Purdy‘s top offensive weapons, but the 49ers wide receiver felt underutilized in San Francisco‘s latest trip to the Super Bowl.

And as Aiyuk continues negotiations for what could be a lucrative 49ers contract extension, he recently admitted that his lack of targets in Super Bowl LVIII against the Kansas City Chiefs left him feeling frustrated after San Francisco’s loss — specifically, it was why he made a cryptic social media post in the game’s aftermath.

“Absolutely it did,” Aiyuk said on Friday’s episode of “The Pivot” podcast when asked if his Super Bowl usage led to him posting, “Don’t forget what got you there,” on his Instagram story the day after the big game.

“I get out of the Super Bowl, and I just feel like you’re throwing the ball to me five, six times a game all year. I went for 100 [yards in a game] six or seven times this year. I turned 70 catches into 1,400 [yards]. And then here we are right now, talking about being paid, getting paid top dollar in this market, but I don’t know. The Super Bowl was tricky. We’ve moved on past from the Super Bowl.”

Aiyuk caught three of his six targets for 49 receiving yards in the Super Bowl. He had three receptions and one touchdown in the NFC Championship Game against the Detroit Lions, and three receptions in the divisional round against the Green Bay Packers after being targeted eight and six times, respectively.

The wideout was targeted six or fewer times in eight games during the 2023 NFL regular season, or half of the 49ers’ contests.

Still, it’s reasonable for Aiyuk to want a more prominent role in the biggest game of the season, especially after sealing San Francisco’s NFC title victory with his now-famous “ladybug catch” at Levi’s Stadium. His production leading up to the Super Bowl, where he recorded his second consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season, certainly did play a large role in the 49ers’ chance to go after another Vince Lombardi Trophy.

And as he said, Aiyuk has moved on from the Super Bowl loss. But it’s clear the emotions of that experience forced him to examine his career — and how much he makes — through a different lens.

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