Steel Curtain Network: A Pittsburgh Steelers podcast

Steelers interest in WR Brandon Aiyuk is waning

The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the 2024 league year with a need at the wide receiver position. After they traded Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers, they were looking for a clean slate at the position. Prior to the 2024 NFL Draft, the team was also open to trading for a player who could help round out the room.

Obviously, that trade never happened, but it doesn’t mean the team didn’t do their best to try and trade for a quality player who could be a difference maker in the team’s offense. The one name who got the most attention was San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk is entering the final year of his current contract, and it seemed as if the 49ers might be willing to move him if the price was right.

Aiyuk remains a player on the 49ers roster, but has been vocal about how he is being treated in San Francisco, and his desire for a fresh start. Combine that with the Steelers releasing two players Wednesday, and you can imagine how rampant the speculation was about the team finally pulling off a trade for the talented wide out.

Not that a trade won’t happen, but we’re hearing from our source inside the organization the team’s interest in Aiyuk has gone from “boiling hot to lukewarm” after watching how Aiyuk and his camp have been handling the situation. The Steelers understand he wants a new contract, and is doing everything he can to make himself one of the highest paid receivers in the league, but the one thing the Steelers don’t want to do is to add drama to a receiver room which is trying to start anew.

If we are using a poker term, the Steelers aren’t getting up and leaving the table, but they certainly aren’t pushing all their chips into the middle of the table after what they are seeing/hearing.

Again, this doesn’t mean the Steelers and 49ers won’t be able to carve out a deal, but it is at this juncture when you have to ask what it will cost the team both in terms of a new contract, and in draft capital, to do so.

Stay tuned for more information as it comes, but you can hear more details in the latest Source Podcast which can be heard in the player below this article. Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the 2024 offseason.

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