Steelers WR Hearing Trade Talks

The Steelers' wide receiver room is motivated by the recent trade rumors.
Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Calvin Austin III (19) is tackled by Buffalo Bills cornerback Siran Neal (33) in the second half in a 2024 AFC wild card game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Calvin Austin III (19) is tackled by Buffalo Bills cornerback Siran Neal (33) in the second half in a 2024 AFC wild card game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have been fairly open about their pursuit of another playmaking wide receiver. Since the trading of Diontae Johnson, the team has a steep drop off in production and talent after de facto number one, George Pickens.

With GM Omar Khan seemingly in on every receiver on the block and a trade still feeling imminent, the Steelers' current receiving room has taken notice. Not only have they taken notice, the chatter is seemingly fueling the fire of the five men battling it out for the final four receiving positions.

Speaking to the media this week, both Calvin Austin III and Van Jefferson gave some interesting quotes about the situation.

“We most definitely hear it," Austin said. "At the end of the day, we understand that this is a business. The only thing that we can control is going out there on the field and putting on a show. So, I mean, we’d be lying if we said it doesn’t motivate or push us. We’re going to go out there and do what we have to go regardless, but we do want to prove that we got what we need. At the end of the day, that’s not gonna be on us. If we bring somebody, good. If we don’t, good. Whatever it is, we’re gonna be ready to go out there and play against the Falcons.”

Austin could be in line for a huge bump in his role this season. His quickness and big-play ability could lend himself to Arthur Smith's new offensive schemes. He is the likely number three on this team and will battle for additional snaps at the slot.

As it stands currently, free-agent signing Van Jefferson is the most likely candidate to line up as the number two receiver in week one. But even he knows that isn't etched in stone, especially with all of the rumors still flying around.

“Obviously, I have a lot of confidence in myself. Obviously, think I can do those things,” Jefferson told reporters. “But at the end of the day, I’ve gotta put in the work to get the opportunity to earn that. Nothing is given that’s going to be handed to me. That spot, I’m comfortable doing it.”

While a trade or another move is still possible for the Steelers, their current receiving group is operating as usual. There is still competition among the receivers currently on the roster, something each player is very aware of. And while Omar Khan isn't quite done working his magic, it's already motivating their current group to push for more.

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Jacob Punturi

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