Steelers can't make a desperate last-ditch effort to acquire Brandon Aiyuk

With talks between Brandon Aiyuk and the 49ers still stalling, the Steelers can't get desperate and overpay for a star receiver.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Brandon Aiyuk situation is breaking down, as it seems. Despite requesting a meeting with the team, a new deal hasn’t been struck yet. Trade rumors are once again heating up, and while there are some more favored teams now in play, the Steelers still make a lot of sense given their inherent need for a capable second receiver.

Unless a deal materializes soon, it seems likely that Aiyuk will be moved. The 49ers receiver room is deep, and if they don’t believe his value is fair, trading him for a value pick makes sense. Unless he is dealt for a significant discount (a third-round pick or less), the Steelers really need to close the door on this trade.

Why the Steelers can move past Aiyuk

Assuming he costs a second or even first-round pick I just don’t see where it makes sense for the team to invest all of that in Aiyuk right now. The draft picks required to get him are already steep, but he is also in need of a new contract.

Given the blow-up in the market there this offseason, that deal is likely to be somewhere around 30 million dollars a season.

If the Steelers offense featured a young quarterback on a rookie deal that was ready to make that push to Super Bowl contender, this deal would be an obvious yes. However, an offense focused on running the ball and led by Russell Wilson is lacking. Sure, Pittsburgh is seen as a playoff team by most, but no one is expecting that kind of a leap for them, nor should anyone.

You also run into the issue of contracts next year. Aiyuk would command a healthy-sized deal, and that would leave George Pickens in need of a new contract. I can’t see this team paying two receivers that much money, so again, I struggle to see the fit here. Bringing in Aiyuk means Pickens's time on the roster is coming to an end.

Are the Steelers in need of a quality second receiver? Without a doubt, spending all of these resources when the team around him won’t be major beneficiaries seems unwise. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get dealt before training camp, but as for the Steelers, they officially need to focus on other things as a trade just doesn’t make sense.

This isn’t the right time for them, and those resources can be better allocated elsewhere.

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