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Obvious Obstacles Preventing Brandon Aiyuk Trade

There are obvious obstacles that the Pittsburgh Steelers will have to overcome to end up landing Brandon Aiyuk.



Pittsburgh Steelers Trade Target San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk

The Pittsburgh Steelers want Brandon Aiyuk. This saga has been going on for a month and pushing it as the team looks for a replacement for Diontae Johnson, but there is little movement.

On NFL Total Access Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network provided the latest on the Aiyuk trade rumors. Aiyuk recently unfollowed the San Francisco 49ers on Instagram, suggesting that he’s getting fed up with the team for not reaching his desired figure on a long-term deal.

“Now, as far as the trade request, I would agree with his agent. There has been no trade request,” Rapoport said in regards to Aiyuk’s agent throwing cold water on a false report that his client requested a trade. “Obviously there have been some teams though who know that all is not well and know that he wants a contract extension. Some receiver-needy teams have acquired over the last several months to see if he could be available. To my knowledge, the 49ers have not entertained any of those talks.”

The Steelers have become mired in rumors about landing a big-time wide receiver. And there has been extensive speculation surrounding Aiyuk and the Steelers. 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.

According to offshore sportsbook, 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. 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.

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.”

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 long shot. 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.

But this Aiyuk saga will likely carry into the summer simply because the 49ers have little reason to trade him before either the talks go south and sour, or they can figure out a long-term deal. Lynch has been through this last year with Deebo Samuel. Samuel requested a trade and unfollowed the team on social media, but in the end, the money was right, and he signed a new deal with the team. Expect Aiyuk’s story to go a similar way, or at least drag into the summer.