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2024 NFL Draft

If it Happens, Steelers Trade for Brandon Aiyuk Likely to Come on the Clock

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Pittsburgh Steelers WR Brandon Aiyuk

If the San Francisco 49ers trade wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk on draft day, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk thinks it’s going to be in dramatic fashion.

“If a deal is going to happen that would send, for example, let’s just keep it simple, Brandon Aiyuk to the Steelers for the 20th overall pick. The 49ers step right in, and they run the board without anyone trying figure out what they’re doing with that 20th pick,” Florio said during a segment.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Mike Silver, other teams would have to give up a first-round pick to land Aiyuk. It doesn’t appear that the Steelers, who’ve been frequently linked to the Aiyuk trade rumors, would give up that kind of draft capital.

“There is a sense among high-ranking executives that Brandon Aiyuk is available for the right price. To this point, the 49ers are asking for a first round pick,” Silver noted. Aiyuk also wants $25 million or more from the 49ers, but they have not shown themselves to pay that money, according to Silver.

The Steelers are still connected to Aiyuk despite the heavy demands, and NFL insider Ari Meirov believes that the timeline for an Aiyuk trade could be right at the NFL Draft.

“I would not say the San Francisco 49ers want to move Brandon Aiyuk, but the draft will be a critical pressure point in this saga. Aiyuk wants a top-market receiver contract, and the 49ers are nowhere close to that right now,” Meirov wrote. “If the 49ers still have Aiyuk on the roster after Friday, that should signal they are confident they’ll bridge the gap.”

The 49ers and Aiyuk appear far apart in negotiations. So, not only would a team have to acquire Aiyuk for significant draft capital, but they would have to pay Aiyuk a massive contract. But Pittsburgh can accommodate that. Silver noted that one executive believes Aiyuk is in play, but the asking price is simply too high. Though, one executive thinks they might accept a high second and a third round pick in 2025.

“However, another team’s GM said he believes the 49ers might ultimately accept a second-round selection. Such a deal might become more enticing to Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan if that pick were near the start of the second round and packaged with another selection — say, a 2025 third-rounder,” Silver wrote.

On Monday, 49ers general manager John Lynch reiterated that the team would love to keep Aiyuk around long-term, though he has not shown up for offseason workouts yet. He mentioned that the team was having good talks with Aiyuk.

“With B.A., I’ve communicated on many occasions: Our wish is that he’s here as part of the Niners for the rest of his career,” Lynch said. “We’re working through that. I’m not going to get in all those details. We’re really focused on B.A. being a part of (our team). We’re having good talks, and I’m just going to leave it at that. We’ll focus on the draft here today.”

Lynch added that the team has had talks with others about Aiyuk. The Steelers have reached out to the 49ers about Aiyuk, as has been reported by Steelers Now and many other outlets. Florio reported last Wednesday that their request was rebuffed.

“My understanding is that the Steelers placed a phone call a few weeks ago. And were told by the 49ers we’re not trading the guy,” Florio said in an appearance on 93.7 the Fan on Wednesday.

And on Tuesday, Andrew Fillipponi of 93.7 the Fan said that the team is exploring packages but the 49ers have yet to reciprocate interest.

According to offshore sportsbook SportsBetting.ag, the Steelers are the favorites to land Aiyuk should he leave San Francisco. Aiyuk is heading into the last year of his rookie contract, and will play on the fifth-year option. But the 49ers have a cap crunch, and with Aiyuk needing an extension, that could be significant.

As it stands with the odds, Pittsburgh is the clear cut favorite with 2/1 odds. The Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots hold 6/1 odds while the Arizona Cardinals boast 7/1 odds and the Los Angeles Chargers finish it out with 9/1 odds.