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Steelers Atop Odds Board to be Next Team for Brandon Aiyuk

The Pittsburgh Steelers have the best odds to land 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk if he leaves San Francicso



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

The Pittsburgh Steelers have become mired in rumors about landing a big-time wide receiver. And the one that is starting to bubble to the surface is 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. According to offshore sportsbook they 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.

Matters were not helped when Aiyuk took to X, the app formerly known as Twitter, to fire a message at Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday.

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. So, if the trade talks intensify, it seems the Steelers are expected to be in the driver’s seat for Aiyuk.

First, there are two layers to this Aiyuk trade. For one, Aiyuk needs a new extension. Second, the Steelers have to be willing to give up the correct amount of compensation to land Aiyuk. The one report out there is that the Jacksonville Jaguars were interested in Aiyuk, and the cost to them would have been giving up the 17th overall pick and wide receiver Zay Jones. I have no clue who exactly the player equivalent for Jones would be on the Steelers, but the first round pick is a must.

The most recent example of a top flight receiver being dealt 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.

Then, there is the whole idea on what Aiyuk would actually command in a new contract. The Steelers would not just be giving up draft capital, but would be moving money, too. Aiyuk will want a new deal wherever he goes next. The immediate evaluation on Spotrac is $24 million, putting Aiyuk in line with DK Metcalf and Stefon Diggs. But it would not be surprising if Aiyuk peaked even higher than that.

At the NFL owners meetings, 49ers general manager John Lynch, said the team does not plan to trade Aiyuk, 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.”

Aiyuk’s agent denied on Sunday that he requested a trade out of San Francisco.

Either way, Aiyuk is a top ten receiver in the league and would obviously be a huge boost to the Steelers offense alongside George Pickens. But if they want to make it happen, it is not going to be cheap, not by a longshot. And that is both on the draft capital side of things and a potential contract that Aiyuk will be asking for if they do acquire him.