Grade the Trade: Steelers pay a premium for a known commodity in mock trade

This mock trade has the Steelers calling the Denver Broncos in hopes of getting a deal done that is fair for both sides.
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The search for a legit second wide receiver is still ongoing for the Steelers as they inch closer to training camp.

It is hard to fathom the black and gold heading into the regular season with a platoon of receivers filling a starting role. Unless someone currently on the roster proves everyone wrong, the Steelers will be forced to find an outside solution. It won't be easy, but one possible outcome could be acquiring an upgrade via trade.

Everyone who pays close attention to the newswire surrounding the Steelers knows that they are in plenty of rumors. No matter if it's via trade or when someone pops up in the headlines of free agency, they are immediately linked to Pittsburgh. We will see what kind of outcome springs from this, but many assume the black and gold will get an upgrade through a trade if they can pull off such a move.

Tons of names have been connected to the Steelers through the rumor mill since free agency started to die down. They have been linked to players like Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, DK Metcalf, and many other star-studded names across the NFL. There could be plenty more names who become available between now and the conclusion of the preseason, which is when Pittsburgh may strike a deal.

Bleacher Report's Gary Davenport thinks the Steelers should make a move for Courtland Sutton of the Denver Broncos.

Grade the Trade: Steelers acquire Courtland Sutton to upgrade WR

Pitt Den

"The Broncos are a rebuilding team that should be looking to stockpile picks. The Steelers have loftier expectations. And while Sutton may want another deal, he's under contract through 2025, so a restructure that puts a little more immediate cash in his account might be enough to mollify him for now."

Making the connection between the Broncos and Steelers as trade partners is not hard to find.

It would make a ton of sense for the Broncos and Steelers to become reasonable trade partners. Sutton is a quality receiver and has proven to have a reliable connection with Russell Wilson. Both of them played together in Denver, and it should be a smooth transition to Pittsburgh. They produced quality numbers during their time together, and Sutton wouldn't have to be a top target on offense.

"Sutton also has a built-in rapport with Russell Wilson—after 14 touchdowns over his first five seasons, the receiver had 10 playing with the veteran signal-caller a year ago."

As Davenport mentions above, there are a ton of things that would work in this potential trade.

Denver isn't going to be a good football team this year, and it's unlikely to get better for a little while longer. They could use some extra draft capital rather than extend a receiver who they should be able to replace in the upcoming draft. The Steelers are trying their best to win plenty of games this upcoming season, and they need a receiver like Sutton right now.

Sutton is rumored to want a new contract either with the Broncos or at his new home if he is traded. His contract runs through the 2025 season, so he doesn't have too much leverage. It seems like the Steelers would want Sutton for these two seasons to start things off and see where things go from there. They do have to pay George Pickens at some point, so having a quality receiver on a deal with two years remaining might be the best option.

Overall, this trade isn't bad, but it could be better if you look from Pittsburgh's perspective.

The black and gold would need a guarantee from Sutton and the Broncos that he won't miss time due to this contract dispute. If he is willing to let that slide at least for this season, then this trade isn't terrible. Ideally, the Steelers would like to just give up one pick for Sutton straight up, but upgrading your sixth-round pick can help you down the line by bumping it up a round.

Davenport did a nice job here as they gave a reasonable offer for both sides, and the connection between Wilson and Sutton only intensifies the trade rumors currently surrounding the Steelers.

Grade: B+

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