Steelers attempted to trade for Deebo Samuel before drafting Zach Frazier

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Steelers knocked it out of the park on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft. After landing OT Troy Fautanu in Round 1, they were able to snag C Zach Frazier, WR Roman Wilson, and LB Payton Wilson with a trio of Day 2 picks.

The value on the consensus board already looks tremendous and rivals the Steelers' Day 2 draft haul in 2023. Omar Khan and Andy Weidl found a way to snag excellent talents at positions of need, and fans are thrilled with the results.

But things could have looked very different on Day 2 for Pittsburgh.

Michael Silver reported that the Steelers reached out to the 49ers about trading for former All-Pro wide receiver, Deebo Samuel. However, the two parties were off on the asking price and were not able to come to an agreement.

Samuel is an excellent football player and has been one of the biggest offensive weapons in the NFL when healthy. But with the way things have turned out in the draft, Steelers fans should be relieved that this trade never came to fruition.

Steelers are drafting too well to part with high draft picks

Deebo Samuel would help the team out as much as any of these rookies from the gate if he were to be traded to the Steelers, but this move wasn't the no-brainer decision many fans think it is.

The 28-year-old receiver hasn't played a full season in his NFL career, and he has missed multiple games over each of the past two seasons. As a result, Samuel has managed 116 catches for 1,524 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns in 2022 and 2023 combined.

Because of his battering-ram style of play and significant usage (including 160 rushes), Samuel has had a hard time staying on the field. He has a salary cap number of $28.63 million for the 2024 season. This dips slightly to $24.2 million in 2025 but is still a big number for an aging player who can't stay on the field. Not only that, but Samuel is going to want a new contract with loads of guaranteed money.

With how well the Steelers have been drafted, they are best betting on themselves. Had they made a move like this on Day 2 of the draft, Pittsburgh would have missed out on some incredible talent in a loaded draft class, and they may have even had to mortgage future draft capital to get a deal done.

This report came just minutes after the Steelers selected Zach Frazier with the 51st overall pick in the second round. Because of this, it's probably safe to assume that the 49ers were asking for at least Pittsburgh's second round pick in return for Samuel, though there has been no report confirming the asking price.

The impressive draft hauls Pittsburgh has managed with Omar Khan and Andy Weidl in back-to-back years show why Steelers fans should trust the process. If they keep drafting like this, there will be no need to trade for an aging, injury-prone player on a massive contract.