July 22, 2024

Analyst names ‘most likely’ team to trade for 49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk

For a piece published on Thursday, NFL analyst Marcus Mosher of The 33rd Team named the Pittsburgh Steelers as “probably the most likely team to land” San Francisco 49ers star wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk in a potential trade this summer.

“The Steelers traded away Diontae Johnson this offseason and never adequately replaced him,” Mosher wrote. “They did draft Roman Wilson in round three, but he is more of a pure slot receiver than an ‘X’ who can create separation against man coverage.”

Some reporters and analysts have linked Aiyuk with the Steelers since before this year’s NFL Draft, as the 26-year-old remains in the final year of his rookie contract and reportedly isn’t close to signing any type of extension with the 49ers. While Aiyuk said during a recent appearance on “The Pivot Podcast” he could “probably” see himself playing in a Pittsburgh or Washington jersey “if not a Niners uniform” this season, there’s no indication the Steelers want to both give San Francisco a top draft pick and then immediately pay Aiyuk what he feels he’s worth.

“Pittsburgh does have George Pickens,” Mosher continued, “who is heading into Year 3. While the 2023 season was a nice improvement for him, some maturity concerns might scare Pittsburgh off from giving him a long-term deal. However, the Steelers are in win-now mode, and Mike Tomlin needs his team to have some success in the postseason after seven consecutive years without a playoff win.”

Specifically, the Steelers seemingly are hoping that veteran quarterback Russell Wilson turns the clock back and guides the club to at least a second straight playoff berth.

Mosher also named the Denver Broncos, Washington Commanders, New England Patriots and New York Jets as possible destinations for Aiyuk if he requests a trade and then threatens to sit regular-season games out in an attempt to get what he wants. As much as Pittsburgh could use the help at the position, it still seems unrealistic a 49ers team attempting to return to the Super Bowl following its loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in February would trade a key contributor such as Aiyuk for a future draft choice.