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Brandon Aiyuk To Steelers? Why Trade For 49ers Star Would Make Sense

Pittsburgh's front office should make some calls

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made some eye-opening moves this offseason by exploring the trade and free agency markets, but the front office might not be done with the start of training camp just days away.

With rumors swirling around Brandon Aiyuk’s potential departure from the San Francisco 49ers, the door has opened for organizations across the league, including the Steelers, to swoop in at the chance of a blockbuster acquisition. The 26-year-old, fresh off a Super Bowl loss to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, is entering the final season of his rookie contract in San Francisco and is searching for a big payday extension.

Nevertheless, Aiyuk isn’t worried about being settled in by Week 1 of the 2024 season.

“If not a Niners uniform, probably a Washington Commander uniform. If not a Washington Commanders uniform, then probably a Steelers uniform,” Aiyuk said in June, per Coral Smith of NFL.com.

Having already addressed their biggest need — quarterback depth — the Steelers are among the NFL’s most ideal trade candidates for Aiyuk, especially as a playoff-contending franchise that fell short in the postseason last season.

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Pittsburgh could be in position to contend and chase a Super Bowl title in 2024. Adding a weapon like Aiyuk to the mix could do wonders for the Russell Wilson or Justin Fields-led offense, giving the Steelers a clear-as-day No. 1 receiving option that’s worthy of being extended.

The Steelers already have George Pickens, who showed notable growth and improvement last season, but playing in tandem with Aiyuk would elevate the two, and Pittsburgh as a whole, to another level. Receiving depth is one of the several glaring weaknesses the Steelers needed to address entering the season.

Aiyuk tallied a career-high 1,342 receiving yards with the 49ers last season while also totaling seven touchdowns on 105 targets.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has two starting-caliber quarterbacks to work with in Wilson and Fields, although the fog surrounding who should be the team’s go-to starter might clear up midway through the season. Pittsburgh could definitely use Aiyuk’s services in helping either Wilson or Fields. Aiyuk could certainly aid the development of the speedy 25-year-old Fields and establish his identity — hence, giving the franchise a quarterback-receiver tandem to contend for multiple seasons.

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Meanwhile, making the switch from San Francisco to Pittsburgh could provide Aiyuk with the change of scenery needed to surpass Kansas City and reach the mountaintop as a Super Bowl champion.

Featured image via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images