John Lynch: Brandon Aiyuk is a guy we want to keep around a long time

49ers receiver Brandon Aiyuk enters the fifth-year option on his contract, scheduled to become a free agent in 2025. The 49ers want to keep him, but despite the $30.6 million increase in the salary cap, they might have a hard time signing him to a long-term deal.

Teams can't keep everybody they want to keep.

General Manager John Lynch, though, vows to make a run at getting Aiyuk signed to an extension.

"We have some challenges," Lynch said Tuesday. "We have a lot of good players, a lot of good players who we've rewarded. Brandon's one that we think incredibly highly of, one of my favorite guys around our building, the way he approaches the game. He's a competitor. He's a warrior. He plays with such physicality, also with grace, in the way some of the positions his body can get into.

"And then he's got a flair for making plays when [they] matter most, and he's served us very well as a franchise. And I think we've got a nice track record of extending the players that are important to us, and Brandon's the guy we want to keep around for a long time."

The 49ers have managed to keep Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel on long-term deals, but they traded DeForest Buckner in 2020 rather than try to re-sign him to an extension. And they have let players like Azeez Al-Shaair, Mike McGlinchey, Charles Omenihu, Laken Tomlinson, Raheem Mostert and Kendrick Bourne leave in free agency.

Aiyuk earned second-team All-Pro honors after leading the team with 1,342 receiving yards on 75 receptions. He has 15 touchdowns the past two seasons.