Pittsburgh Steelers Trade Rumors: Is Trading For 49ers Brandon Aiyuk The Right Move?

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The Pittsburgh Steelers made some massive offseason changes.

Changes began midway through last season when the Steelers fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada midseason. After letting Matt Canada go, Pittsburgh hired Arthur Smith as the new offensive coordinator in the offseason.

This was just the beginning of revamping the offense.

The Steelers signed QB Russell Wilson to a one-year, $1.2 million deal in the offseason. This prompted the Steelers to trade QB Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles.

With Pickett and Rudolph gone, it opened up a void at backup QB. To solve this, the Steelers would then trade for QB Justin Fields from the Chicago Bears. Fields will be the backup QB to begin the season, with Wilson starting.

The offensive changes would not stop there with the front office addressing key needs during the early rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Pittsburgh drafted Troy Fautanu in the first round to be a starting offensive tackle. In round two, they drafted Zach Frazier to be the day-one starting center. They also drafted WR Roman Wilson in round three to compete to be the starting slot WR.

All of these changes were made in an attempt to revamp an offense that has been sluggish for a few years.

However, there is one key missing piece.

The Steelers do not have a bona fide No. 2 WR to line up across George Pickens.

Teams will double and shadow Pickens, which will make it much more difficult for him to get open and make plays.

We discuss whether the Steelers should try and trade for 49ers’ WR Brandon Aiyuk and give other WR options the Steelers should target to become the team’s number two WR.

Should The Steelers Trade For A WR?

Here is the list of WRs currently on the Steelers’ roster.

  • George Pickens
  • Roman Wilson
  • Van Jefferson
  • Calvin Austin
  • Quez Watkins
  • Scotty Miller
  • Denzel Mims
  • Dez Fitzpatrick
  • Marquez Callaway
  • Deuce Watts
  • Jaray Jenkins

This is a long list and the Steelers will surely cut some of these WRs before the season starts.

Dez Fitzpatrick, Marquez Callaway, Deuce Watts, and Jaray Jenkins are likely cut candidates before the season begins.

George Pickens is the number one WR and Roman Wilson will be the slot WR for the Steelers.

After Pickens, there is not a proven WR on the roster.

Van Jefferson is 6’1” and has the build to play outside. He is a second-round WR and will be 28 years old when the season begins. Jefferson knows Smith’s offensive scheme from last year, which will help him in 2024. However, he is not a WR that has proven he can be relied upon to be a starting WR in the NFL. Jefferson has had just one good season and is not a real threat to opposing defenses.

Calvin Austin is too small to play on the outside. Austin will be utilized as a slot WR, along with Wilson, and as a gadget player.

On the other hand, Quez Watkins, Scotty Miller, and Denzel Mims are not capable of being starting WRs but could add speed and depth to the Steelers’ WR room.

If the Steelers opt not to make a move for a WR, Van Jefferson is the obvious choice to be the team’s No. 2 WR. However, the Steelers will not feel good about this, as there are high expectations to make major strides on offense. In a tough AFC North, the Steelers have a massive hole at the second WR position.

It would be wise for Pittsburgh to try and either trade or sign a WR before the season to become the team’s number two WR.

Is Trading For 49ers Brandon Aiyuk The Right Move?

The buzz all offseason was the Steelers have been trying to acquire 49ers star WR Brandon Aiyuk.

The trade rumors about Aiyuk have been non-stop and will continue until he either signs an extension with the 49ers or becomes a free agent after the 2024 NFL season.

Aiyuk is an excellent route runner and will arguably become the team’s top target as he is more proven than George Pickens.

One thing that could be holding up the possibility of the Steelers trying to acquire Aiyuk is the money Aiyuk will be looking for in a new deal.

Pittsburgh will not be able to pay both Pickens and Aiyuk, so they need to decide on which WR they’d want for the future.

However, if the Steelers hope to compete in 2024, adding Aiyuk would be a huge addition.

This would give Pittsburgh two legit WRs, to go along with what is sure to be a very good rush attack behind a revamped offensive line and Arthur Smith’s offensive scheme.

Trading for Aiyuk would be a wise move and the Steelers would be better off paying him rather than paying Pickens.

Other WR Options For The Steelers

If the Steelers do not strike a deal for Brandon Aiyuk, there are some other options out there that can help the offense.

Deebo Samuel

Pittsburgh Steelers Trade Rumors: Is Trading For 49ers Brandon Aiyuk The Right Move?

If the Steelers do not acquire Brandon Aiyuk, another 49ers weapon, Deebo Samuel may be an option.

San Francisco drafted WR Ricky Pearsall in the first round of the NFL Draft.

While Samuel is signed through 2025, he is 28 years old and the oldest of Aiyuk and Pearsall.

If the 49ers choose to keep Aiyuk, Samuel could be on the move.

He would be a perfect fit in Arthur Smith’s offense and would be a legit weapon in Pittsburgh, as he has been with the 49ers.

Samuel would be a tremendous addition to the Steelers if the 49ers decide they want to trade him.

Tyler Lockett

Pittsburgh Steelers Trade Rumors: Is Trading For 49ers Brandon Aiyuk The Right Move?

There is no indication that Tyler Lockett is available.

However, if there is a team he’d welcome a trade to more than any other, it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This is thanks to the presence of his former QB, Russell Wilson.

Wilson and Lockett had tremendous success playing with each other in Seattle.

Lockett is very familiar with Wilson and would be a good fit with the offense.

Players in the league seem to gravitate towards Mike Tomlin and Lockett will surely want to play for Tomlin.

Seattle has DK Metcalf and Jaxson Smith-Njigba already on the roster and could part ways with Lockett.

Pittsburgh should take a look at what it will cost to acquire Lockett as he would step in and become the team’s number two WR and already has excellent chemistry with Wilson.

Michael Thomas

Pittsburgh Steelers Trade Rumors: Is Trading For 49ers Brandon Aiyuk The Right Move?

Michael Thomas is a free agent and can sign with the Steelers at any time if there is mutual interest.

Thomas may be a shell of what he was in his prime but he can still make plays and get first downs.

He is not a deep ball threat but is a reliable option on third down.

Pittsburgh has Pickens and Van Jefferson who can be the deep ball threats with Thomas working in the middle of the field with Roman Wilson.
Thomas is injury prone but when healthy, he would give the Steelers a reliable target.

If the Steelers can not acquire Aiyuk, Samuel, or Lockett, Thomas could be the next best option as the team’s number two WR.