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Brandon Aiyuk to Steelers Trade Rumors Heat Up



Pittsburgh Steelers San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk sparked speculation last month when he sent a message to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on X, stating “@CoachTomlin they saying we twins. What you think?” Could it really happen? There are still mixed signals, but those rumors seem to be swirling once again.

49ers general manager John Lynch, who ran into Tomlin at the Michigan pro day, threw cold water on the trade rumors, stating nothing is happening there.

“I promise you, nothing’s going on there,” Lynch said of the trade rumors at the NFL owner’s meetings. “We’re actually talking to Brandon to try and figure something out. You know, we have a good history of working with the guys that we want to get done to get something done. So, can we do that? We’ll see. There’s a number of different directions that could go. But we appreciate the heck out of Brandon and what he is as a player. We want him to be a part of the Niners, so we’re going to work towards making that a reality.”

It’s almost mid-April and Aiyuk still doesn’t have a long-term deal with the 49ers. He seems like he’s getting fed up, too, as he unfollowed the team on Instagram.

During an appearance on the Nightcap Show with Shannon Sharpe and Chad Johnson last month, Aiyuk revealed why he sent a message to Tomlin on X.

“Every day while your under contract talks, every day is like a different day. I said I’m not going to say anything and just wait until after my birthday (March 17), and I’m going to try to put a little bit more pressure on them (49ers). I wake up and they’re talking about another team again that I’m supposed to be in trade talks or whatever. So I just said let me, if everybody is saying this, and this, and that, let me go ahead and just put out my one little spots. I reverted back to Tomlin, we can have a little bit of fun with it. It’s all in fun, like I said we’re all professionals, it is what it is. But that’s where the Tomlin stuff came from.”

It seems like Aiyuk is trying to send another message to Lynch and the 49ers front office by unfollowing the team on Instagram.

With the Steelers hosting six wide receiver prospects on pre-draft visits, the buzz around the Steelers trading for a receiver has died off a bit, but it has bee something they have tried to do. NFL Insider Benjamin Allbright seemed to tease something related to Aiyuk and the Steelers on Saturday.

Aiyuk would be the biggest fish of them all. And there is no doubt he would be the most expensive, both with a new contract and with the draft picks they would have to move to get him. In all likelihood, Aiyuk would likely cost a first-round pick since the 49ers have stated they don’t want to trade him, at least at this point.

The most recent example of a top-flight receiver being dealt with in a similar situation was A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles. They parted with their first-round pick as well as their later third-round pick, the No. 101 overall pick in that year’s class. So, using that parameter, you could cook up a theory that maybe 20th overall and 98th overall could do it. But the 49ers could want more than that, especially because there has to be a clear desire to keep Aiyuk.

Either way, this one feels like something that is real, but could draw out for a while longer, even with some of the hints in recent days. The 49ers and Aiyuk are in the middle of contract negotiations, but if they sour over the weeks, perk your ears up then. For now, this one is probably still a little bit out on the straights.