Connect with us

Steelers News

Soft Trade Market Could Help Steelers in Brandon Aiyuk Pursuit

What does a soft overall NFL trade market for players in exchange for draft picks could mean to the Steelers pursuit of Brandon Aiyuk?



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

The market for trading players for draft picks continues to be soft in 2024, as the Kansas City Chiefs got just a 2025 third-round pick and some change from the Tennessee Titans  for L’Jarius Sneed, one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL.

That’s a lot less than the 2024 second-round pick than the Chiefs had been asking for in exchange for Sneed, continuing a trend that has extended throughout this offseason.

In fact, that third-rounder is among the highest compensation exchanged in a player-for-pick trade this offseason. All-Pro linebacker Brian Burns was traded for a second rounder, but every other player traded has done so for lackluster returns.

Carlton Davis and two other picks got the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a third. Morgan Moses  and Keenan Allen went for a fourth. Sam Howell and a fourth returned a third — the same for Kenny Pickett. Mac Jones netted a sixth. Joe Mixon was traded for seventh rounder.

It sure seems that for whatever reason, the players that teams want to trade are not being valued highly in the open market. That could be good news for the Steelers if they’re serious about their pursuit of San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

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 it’s no guarantee that a soft market means the Steelers are in line to get a great deal, but it certainly won’t hurt in their pursuit of the top receiver available on the market.

RELATED: Pros and Cons to Steelers Trading for Brandon Aiyuk