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49ers Fuel Flames on Wide Receiver Trade Rumors

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Pittsburgh Steelers San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk
49ers wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel celebrate after a touchdown, Sept. 11, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Nothing that happened on Friday night is likely to slow down speculation about the San Francisco 49ers trading one of their top wide receivers, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.

The 49ers did not make a trade during the first round of the NFL Draft, making their pick at No. 31 overall in the first round, but the player that they selected — Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall — will certainly draw attention to what has already been a media frenzy.

Aiyuk has been the greater source of trade speculation, with the receiver seeking a contract extension, reportedly in the $25 million a season range. But with Pearsall representing a potential slot option, Samuel could be the one to move out, instead.

San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Michael Silver said that the team is now more likely to trade Samuel than Aiyuk.

General manager John Lynch reported that Aiyuk’s reaction to the selection of Pearsall was: “Fire pick, can’t lie.” He also said that talks between the 49ers and Aiyuk have been productive.

“The thing I’m excited about right now with BA is there’s a lot of positive talk,” Lynch said. “We’re having a lot of good discussions towards trying to get something done and we’re excited to continue on that.”

The 49ers were reportedly looking to trade up in the first round on Thursday, but were unable to find a partner. Despite that, the expectation is that talks will continue surrounding their wide receiver situation into the second day of the draft on Saturday.

The Steelers have been repeatedly mentioned as a 49ers trade partner, though Silver reported on Thursday that they were not currently involved in Aiyuk talks. The Steelers need to replace wide receivers Diontae Johnson and Allen Robinson II, who were traded and released earlier this offseason.

The 49ers had been seeking a first-round pick in return for Aiyuk, then were reportedly interested in a first-round trade up. Now they may be looking for a high second-round pick. They have reportedly been taking to the New England Patriots about a trade. The Pats have pick No. 34 in the second round.