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Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Patrick Peterson (20) celebrates his interception in the end zone with teammates Levi Wallace (29) and Keeanu Benton (95) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Likelihood of the Steelers Not Trading for Brandon Aiyuk

To trade for him, you’ll need a first-round selection, and the Steelers obviously don’t want to give up theirs.

Sep 10, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11)

The Steelers are the clear favorite to get Brandon Aiyuk should the 49ers deal him this summer, but that shouldn’t be the case.

It makes sense why they are the most favored. Since Aiyuk tweeted to their head coach, Mike Tomlin, a month ago, it appears that he is also interested in them. They need a wide receiver to replace Diontae Johnson. However, I have serious doubts that the Steelers will sign Aiyuk, and I’ll explain why.

First, it will take a first-round pick to trade for him, and the Steelers clearly don’t want to part with theirs. It would be embarrassing for the 49ers to trade him for a second-round pick, so they won’t. They don’t want that heat. So the Steelers would have to up their offer, which they’re unlikely to do because they’re not desperate. They don’t fire head coaches or general managers. No one’s job is on the line. They can afford to be patient and acquire a wide receiver at a reasonable price.

Furthermore, Justin Fields and Russell Wilson are their quarterbacks. It implies that their passing attack isn’t very effective. Like the 49ers, they are designed to run the ball. Thus, they would fall well short of fully using Aiyuk’s skill set. Why then do we give him over $30 million a season?

Expect the 49ers to move Aiyuk to a team whose general manager or head coach is under pressure to win the following season if they do so during the draft.

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