NFL insider would be 'stunned' if Steelers don't make a trade for wide receiver

Has the window of opportunity passed, or will the Steelers still make a trade for a wide receiver?
Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

When the Pittsburgh Steelers traded Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers during the 2024 offseason, rumors were swirling that Omar Khan would soon make a trade for a wide receiver. This didn't happen, but it wasn't for a lack of effort.

During the 2024 NFL Draft, the Steelers reportedly inquired about a trade with the 49ers for veteran WR Deebo Samuel, while they also have been linked to Brandon Aiyuk during the offseason.

As we enter the summer, the Steelers have a new-look wide receiver room that includes a trio of free-agent acquisitions as well as third-round rookie draft choice, Roman Wilson. At this point, many fans assume that one of Wilson, Van Jefferson, Calvin Austin III, Quez Watkins, or Scotty Miller will emerge to work alongside George Pickens in 2024.

But Steelers trade talk for a wide receiver isn't going away.

Recently, NFL Insider Jason La Canfora claimed on his Inside The Huddle Podcast that Pittsburgh is going to add a wide receiver at some point between now and the trade deadline.

"I'm pretty bullish on the Steelers. They're going to add a wide receiver at some point between now and the trade deadline. That's going to happen. They've budgeted for it. They've been trying to make it happen. I'd be stunned if it doesn't."

Jason La Canfora, Inside The Huddle

La Canfora went as far as to say that he would be 'stunned' if the Steelers sat on their hands and didn't make a trade for a receiver at this point -- alluding to the fact that they've already cleared up the cap space to make this happen (referring to Alex Highsmith's contract restructure).

Steelers should exercise patience at wide receiver

Because a trade for a wide receiver didn't happen by the NFL Draft, it's not a surefire thing that they will sell the farm to add a veteran wide-out to their roster -- regardless of what La Canfora said. Before the draft, there was a clock ticking to get something done, as a potential trade partner could have used the draft capital to restock the position.

Now it's time to exercise patience at the position.

The options across from George Pickens indeed seem underwhelming. Jefferson, Watkins, and Scotty Miller have all seen better days and their best football may already be behind them. Meanwhile, Austin's sub-5'8'' frame doesn't bode well for his chances of securing a WR2 gig.

Rookie Roman Wilson stands the best chance in the group thanks to his combination of speed, talent, and soft hands. He was the top receiver on a championship Michigan Football program. But even Wilson isn't guaranteed to carve out a role on offense right away.

Regardless, Pittsburgh must give their wide receivers the benefit of the doubt. Let things play out through the first few weeks of training camp and see if a WR emerges alongside Pickens. If the entire group proves to be a disappointment, we can resume trade talks.

As of now, there's no reason to mortgage the future if a capable option is already on the roster. Even if that means Pittsburgh has a low-end WR2 this year, that's enough to get by until next offseason.

This is my preferred strategy, but Jason La Canfora clearly believes that the Pittsburgh Steelers will make a splash play for a wide receiver before the 2024 trade deadline. Let's hope their WR2 is already on the roster.