Steelers Seem Primed To Take ‘Big Swing’ On Receiver Trade

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL Draft
NFL Analysis Network

The Pittsburgh Steelers have one very good wide receiver in George Pickens. Beyond that, however, is a whole lot of uncertainty.

As a result, many have speculated that the Steelers could aim to make a trade for a bona fide wide out this offseason, but nothing has materialized just yet.

Plus, investing so much into the wide receiver position—particularly in a trade—just isn’t Pittsburgh’s modus operandi.

However, that may be about to change.

Mark Kaboly of The Athletic notes that the Steelers’ receiving corps has been “underwhelming” thus far this offseason and says “that a big swing appears imminent.”

Which wide receivers could the Steelers attempt to trade for?

The biggest name that has surfaced in trade rumors for Pittsburgh this offseason has been San Francisco 49ers star Brandon Aiyuk.

Aiyuk is entering the final year of his deal with the 49ers, and the two sides haven’t appeared to make much—if any—progress on a contract extension.

The 26-year-old has made it abundantly clear that he wants to get paid and doesn’t seem too open to taking a hometown discount, further complicating matters for San Francisco.

The Niners already extended running back Christian McCaffrey this offseason, and they have significant financial obligations up and down the roster. For example, defensive end Nick Bosa is the highest-paid defensive player in football, fellow receiver Deebo Samuel is under contract through 2025 and quarterback Brock Purdy becomes eligible for an extension next offseason.

That could obviously make retaining Aiyuk difficult for the 49ers, which could open the door for the Steelers to swing a trade for the Arizona State product.

Of course, San Francisco is trying to win a Super Bowl, so if it is unable to come to an agreement with Aiyuk on a long-term deal, it may still opt to keep him through 2024 to try and win a championship.

But could Pittsburgh swoop in and make the Niners an offer they can’t refuse?

Or, could the Steelers maybe try and convince the 49ers to send them Samuel instead?

One thing is clear: Pittsburgh needs more receiving talent behind Pickens. There is hope that third-round pick Roman Wilson can develop into the No. 2 receiver the Steelers need, but he is obviously entirely unproven.

We’ll see if Pittsburgh gets aggressive in trying to make a move at wide out in the lead-up to training camp next month.

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