Steelers Door Opens for Massive WR Trade

A potential Steelers trade target feels his current team doesn't want him.
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs safety Mike Edwards (21) tackles San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) during overtime of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs safety Mike Edwards (21) tackles San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) during overtime of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the middle of a brief summer break, but the rumor mill is anything but still. With their wide receiver room still needing upgrades, the team could still be in search of additions before training camp.

On the other side of the league and the country, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk continues to be front and center. Ever since the NFL Draft, when the Steelers restructured several contracts to free up cap space, Aiyuk has frequently been named as a possible trade target. As the offseason winds down and training camp nears, the rumors of a trade are intensifying again.

The latest updates to this story come from social media. In an update from Aiyuk's TikTok account, he cast even further doubt on whether they would get a deal done. In the video, captioned "I'm laughing but im crying fr," Aiyuk is speaking to Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels. During the conversation, he hinted that the relationship between himself and the 49ers is crumbling.

"They said they don't want me back," he said to Daniels.

"That's it?" Daniels responds.

"I swear," Aiyuk said.

It must be noted that Aiyuk provided no context or clarity for his comments in the video. He could be implying the 49ers shut the door on a long-term deal, or he could be suggesting that they want to find a trade for him immediately. It's also possible that this was a bit of social media strategy by Aiyuk, and it could be a ploy to push the negotiations along. Whatever it was, it's raising alarms that a potential move or deal could be on the horizon.

Aiyuk is seeking a long-term contract and a huge pay raise from his current salary of $14 million. Currently, he and the 49ers are far off in negotiations. The receiver market has exploded over the past few seasons, and Justin Jefferson broke the mold with his four-year, $140 million deal. Aiyuk wants to be paid north of $25 million per season.

It seems San Francisco is not willing to meet Aiyuk's number, yet. ESPN Senior NFL Writer Jeremy Fowler provided an update that shed some light on the situation. On a recent appearance on SportsCenter, he reported on the negotiations coming to a standstill.

With his extension in limbo and the 49ers possibly wanting to remove distractions, will Omar Khan's patience pay off for the Steelers? If a trade is finalized, it's likely to happen during this break in the offseason before training camp. The Steelers are likely still trying to put a deal together for the talented receiver because, unlike the 49ers, the Steelers want Aiyuk.

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Jacob Punturi

JACOB PUNTURI

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