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DeSean Jackson on Board with Brandon Aiyuk to Steelers: ‘I Like It’

DeSean Jackson is a big fan of the idea that the Pittsburgh Steelers could end up acquiring Brandon Aiyuk from the 49ers.



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

The Pittsburgh Steelers have become heavily connected to a potential Brandon Aiyuk trade. While there is no guarantee that the 49ers will trade Aiyuk, the organization will have to make tough decisions soon, as it can not afford to pay everyone.

Former NFL wide receiver DeSean Jackson hopes that if the 49ers can not pay Aiyuk, they will trade him and let him go elsewhere to get his bag.

“It’s going to be hard for him to stay in San Francisco with him going on his fifth year,” Jackson said on the Up and Adams Show. “I don’t think they’ll be able to get a deal done … Let that man be free and go get a deal somewhere else.”

When asked if the Steelers would be an excellent fit for Aiyuk, Jackson believes it could be a natural fit if things work out there.

“If it’s a fit, that’s possible, I like that,” Jackson said.

The 49ers reportedly asked the Jacksonville Jaguars for pick No. 17 and wide receiver Zay Jones for Aiyuk earlier this offseason, and the Jaguars declined. It seems clear now that the 49ers won’t get that level of return for Aiyuk, but how low will the market (and GM Jed York) go?

The 49ers are not in a great salary cap situation, and it would be far better for them to extend Aiyuk’s contract that pay him his one-year, $14.1 million fifth-year option. But they also don’t have to trade him. They did this a few years ago, when Deebo Samuel requested a trade. They sought offers, didn’t like what they saw, and then decided it was better to keep him.

So, while a soft market does not guarantee that the Steelers will get a great deal, it certainly won’t hurt their pursuit of the top receiver available.

Aiyuk sparked speculation on Tuesday when he sent a message to Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on X, stating “@CoachTomlin they saying we twins. What you think?”

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 and their later third-round pick, the No. 101 overall pick in that year’s class. So, using that parameter, you could create a theory that maybe 20th overall and 98th overall could do it. However, the 49ers could want more than that, mainly because there has to be a clear desire to keep Aiyuk.