Odds the Steelers trade for Brandon Aiyuk improve after Stefon Diggs trade

With the lopsided trade of Stefon Diggs to Houston, The Steelers could still pull the trigger on trade for Brandon Aiyuk
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

In an off-season that has been unpredictable at best, especially for the Steelers and the NFL in the trade department, fans still wonder if the Steelers will trade for Brandon Aiyuk. There had been much speculation the Steelers had been in the running, but it turned out that it was mostly speculation.

The Bills traded Stefon Diggs to Houston along with a 2024 6th-round selection and a 2025 5th-round selection, receiving a 2025 2nd-round pick. That trade single-handedly destroyed the 49ers' hopes of getting significant fair-trade compensation for Aiyuk. The Bills essentially paid the Texans to take Diggs off their hands.

While the 49ers may not have benefited from the Bills' trade, the Steelers potentially gain an advantage. With other teams also needing a wide receiver, such as the Bills, the Cardinals, and the Panthers, there could be a surge in wide receiver selections before the Steelers are on the draft clock.

If the Steelers do trade for Brandon Aiyuk

Honestly, trading for Aiyuk isn't the worst of all scenarios. It eliminates the need to draft a wide receiver, so the team can focus on the offensive or defensive line, which also has holes. It provides a major weapon for Wilson or Fields and transforms the Steelers' receiving department. 

The downside of such a move concerns finances. With Aiyuk in the final year of a contract and wanting an extension, the 49ers have been reluctant or unable to make a deal with Him. So, if they traded him to the Steelers, the odds are that they would ink a new long-term deal with Aiyuk.

The problem is they signed Patrick Queen to a monster deal, something the Steelers do not always do in free agency. Thus, with Queen's contract, the Steelers could let him play in 2024 and then allow him to go to free agency. It's doubtful the Steelers would sign two large contracts. However, stranger things have happened.

If the Steelers do not trade for Aiyuk

If the Steelers opt out of trading for Aiyuk, we could have a wild first round of the NFL draft. The Steelers would have to make a decision. Either trade up and burn draft capital, which, thankfully, they do have some to burn, or decide if the priority is the offensive or defensive line. They still have a hole at center, and Cam Heyward is not getting any younger.

If they opt for the latter, the Steelers still have a deficit at wide receiver, which they must address in rounds three and four. That option is not bad, considering the Steelers generally have more success in the latter rounds with wide receivers. But with the Steelers being in a win-now mentality, is that the road they want to go? 

Perhaps it's unlikely the Steelers will pull the trigger on a trade for Aiyuk, but the Stefon Diggs trade has at least made it a potential option the Steelers need to consider carefully before draft day. Sure, it could lead to salary cap issues going forward, but teams have tricks and options to deal with that. The bigger question is, do the Steelers need that aggravation?