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Steelers Analysis

Why the Brandon Aiyuk Trade Talks are Ice Cold

Why are the negotiations for the Pittsburgh Steelers to try and land Brandon Aiyuk some quiet? There’s obvious reasons.



Pittsburgh Steelers Trade Target San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk warms up before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now
Easily the most talked about, Brandon Aiyuk would be the biggest fish of them all for the Steelers to acquire. 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.

“I promise you, nothing’s going on there,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said of the trade rumors. “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.”

The timeline on this one is just not before the draft timeline. They are going to be cold for months, and they may never heat up in the contract negotiations between Aiyuk and the 49ers go well.

Either way, this one feels like something that will happen later than right now. The 49ers and Aiyuk are in the middle of contract negotiations, but if they sour over the summer, perk your ears up then. For now, this one is probably dead in the water for some time.