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Report: Steelers Trade Talks for Wide Receiver Have Quieted



Pittsburgh Steelers WR Brandon Aiyuk

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk sparked speculation last week when he sent a message to Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on X, stating “@CoachTomlin they saying we twins. What you think?”

But 49ers general manager John Lynch, who ran into Tomlin at Michigan pro day last Friday, threw cold water on the trade rumors, stating nothing is happening there.

“I promise you, nothing’s going on there,” 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.”

It’s unclear if the Steelers ever called about Aiyuk, but it appears that any trade talks for a wide receiver have cooled down. In a recent online chat, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote, “The trade talks have quieted.”

The Steelers added wide receivers Van Jefferson, Quez Watkins and Cordarrelle Patterson in free agency. All three likely will be No. 4 receiver options. Patterson also plays running back and is a return man.

The Steelers had been in contract talks with former Cincinnati Bengals slot receiver Tyler Boyd that seemed to have cooled. They also had a meeting schedule with ex-Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams, before he signed with the New York Jets. Boyd and Odell Beckham Jr. are the only notable receivers left on the market.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin hinted at the NFL owner’s meetings on Sunday that the wide receiver position most likely will be addressed in the draft. This year’s draft is loaded at receiver, and it’s a position that the Steelers typically do well at in the mid-to-late rounds. The last time the Steelers selected a wide receiver in the first round was Santonio Holmes out of Ohio State in 2006.

“You know, we’ve got a lot of options there,” Tomlin said about the wide receiver position. “There’s still a lot of capable guys on the market. The draft is probably unusually deep at that position and has been for the last several years. I just think that receivers and those that cover them come probably a little bit more ready in today’s game than maybe in year’s past. I think it’s the evolution of seven-on-seven football for high school kids. I just think their development, the skills relative to their positions come with a higher floor. Much like AAU Basketball probably transformed basketball. I think seven-on-seven has had a significant impact on the passing game and those that participate in it. And I think that’s why there’s always a lot of wide outs that appear to be game ready, corners that appear to be game ready. They’re playing football and working on skills relative to football over the course of a 12-month calendar during significant developmental age groups now.”