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Steelers Must Aim High in WR Trade



Steelers Jaguars Zay jones

The Jacksonville Jaguars have released wide receiver Zay Jones after they drafted Brian Thomas out of LSU with their first-round pick. That ends Jones’ tenure with the Jaguars, and his last season was marred by far too many injuries throughout the season. He suffered a PCL sprain and then had cartilage damage in his femur, all of which forced him to miss most of the season.

In 2022, Jones had over 800 receiving yards and 321 yards in just nine games, two of which he did not even finish. A bigger-bodied wide receiver who can play outside, Jones would at least make sense from that perspective for the Steelers, though other names could make sense, too.

Jones has just three seasons of over 500 receiving yards since entering the NFL, and 2022 was his best season overall. But if the Pittsburgh Steelers can not get a trade done and have to turn to the free-agent market, Jones certainly makes some sense.

Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks the Steelers shouldn’t go after Jones, however, as he really wouldn’t be an efficient solution to the problem.

“I think they have enough Zay Jones types in Van Jefferson and Quez Watkins. Jones has never had a 1,000-yard season and his best career output is 823 yards. They need a legit No. 2,” Fittipaldo wrote in his latest Q&A.

The Steelers have been in the market for a wide receiver since trading Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers in March. They’ve struck out on free agent Mike Williams and have hit an impasse with Tyler Boyd, missing Williams, who signed with the Jets. The Steelers have also kicked the tires on San Francisco star Brandon Aiyuk, who the 49ers insist they are not trading. But Courtland Sutton might be the most intriguing of the options for who this could be.

The wide receiver selections in free agency are rather slim right now. Tyler Boyd, who the Pittsburgh Steelers had an interest in, still remains. But Odell Beckham Jr. is now off the market. Others, such as D.J. Chark and Michael Gallup, also signed new deals this past week.