Two trade offers for Brandon Aiyuk Steelers would be foolish to turn down

Rumors are swirling still that the Steelers are in on Brandon Aiyuk, and either of these two trades make a ton of sense
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Trade talk rumors seem to have once again heated up between the 49ers and Steelers for receiver Brandon Aiyuk. While there was a lot of speculation a month or so ago, talks died down. With the draft just around the corner though, it seems like a deal is still plausible, and it could go down on draft night.

Assuming the Steelers are in, I am relatively weary of a deal. It seems as though a first-round pick is off the board, but even a second-round pick seems expensive. Add in the fact that Aiyuk would need a new deal that will end up being worth somewhere around $25 million per season and that lowers his overall trade value.

In addition to this, the receiver market is seemingly bloated right now. The Steelers struggled to get much of anything for Diontae Johnson while names like Jerry Jeudy and Stefon Diggs also went for below market value. The strong draft class seems to be the reason for this, which further damages the market for Aiyuk.

Two potential trades that make sense for the Steelers

That all said, this team has a desperate need for a receiver and there is no guarantee that a rookie will be ready to start. This offense has been revamped, so it would be frustrating to see them struggle because they willingly depleted their receiver room. Aiyuk gives them a potent pair at the top and you can still add some more depth through the draft.

I think the most logical trade layout would molded similarly to the L’Jarius Sneed deal. The 49ers have slightly more leverage than the Chiefs did, so the base of this offer would be one of the 2024 third-round picks. Maybe you throw in some sort of additional 2025 pick or even a swap of picks that year. That said, I think the third-round pick should make up the crux of this deal.

This makes sense for both teams on paper. The 49ers get a decent pick this year, and assuming they didn’t trade Aiyuk and had him walk a year from now, you essentially get that compensatory pick he would garner now. Pittsburgh gets an instant upgrade at receiver, and more than likely this team wouldn’t get that kind of an impact with their third-round picks. This is the simplest option for both teams.

The second trade I could mull over is a trade back for the Steelers in the first round. Pittsburgh moves back to pick 31 and get Aiyuk and the 49ers get to move up to pick 20. That kind of a deal likely wouldn’t happen until draft night, but it makes sense for both sides. 49ers get the guy they want and the Steelers get some great value to move back and, likely, draft a center.

Next. Steelers should double-dip these positional groups in the 2024 NFL Draft. Steelers should double-dip these positional groups in the 2024 NFL Draft. dark

While a deal for Aiyuk isn’t a lock, I think either of the two trades above would be good moves. Aiyuk is a great starter and would boost this offense, and preserving your top two picks while also getting Aiyuk would be amazing. If a deal goes down, I hope it looks like one of these two options.