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Ex-NFL GM Urges Steelers to ‘Go Get’ Brandon Aiyuk Now

Ex-NFL general manager Doug Whaley would like to see the Pittsburgh Steelers get Brandon Aiyuk right now rather than later.

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Pittsburgh Steelers WR Brandon Aiyuk
49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk celebrates after a touchdown, Sept. 11, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The talk around the Pittsburgh Steelers trading for Brandon Aiyuk rages on, even into the dead period of the offseason in June. This likely will not end until Aiyuk attends the 49ers training camp or agrees to an extension with San Francisco. But former Steelers executive and NFL general manager Doug Whaley would like to see the team be aggressive and look to land Aiyuk now.

“Before the start of the season is a better chance than before the start of camp,” Whaley said on 93.7 the Fan. “Now, let’s put on your John Lynch hat. Why would you trade him now? Wait until camp starts. There’s going to be injuries. And guess what? Price just went up. So, that’s why from a Steeler standpoint, if you want him, you better get him now, because you’re going to have to pay a lot more later.”

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Trade Target San Francisco 49ers Brandon Aiyuk

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk during the Washington Football Team at San Francisco 49ers at State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona, December 13, 2020. — All-Pro Reels Photography

Whaley’s argument makes sense, but as he mentions, the 49ers should be in no rush to trade Brandon Aiyuk. Either way, if they are willing to trade Aiyuk now, multiple other teams will know that and look to make a massive swing at him. Lost in the minutiae of the Steelers wide receiver rush is that different teams, like the Washington Commanders and New England Patriots, would almost certainly compete with the team land Aiyuk. So, Pittsburgh wold have to pay a lot regardless.

Aiyuk would fix their wide receiver issues and create a dynamic one-two punch with George Pickens. And while the Steelers continue sniffing the market and want to make a move, Aiyuk is the most expensive and high-end player of all the feasible options remaining on the open market.