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Insider provides clarity on 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk trade rumors

Apr 18, 2024 at 9:57 AM

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A questionable rumor surfaced on Wednesday regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers' interest in San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Sports Illustrated contributor Noah Strackbein reported that the AFC team was seemingly confident they could pull off a trade for Aiyuk.

However, the credibility of this report comes into question due to the assertion that the Steelers believe they could acquire Aiyuk at a bargain price, possibly in exchange for a second-round draft pick and a late-round selection.

RELATED Steelers believe they can acquire Aiyuk at a bargain

Additionally, Strackbein suggests that the Steelers may not feel compelled to secure Aiyuk to a long-term deal, leaving him to play on his fifth-year option. It's unlikely the receiver would be receptive to that scenario.

Making the report more implausible is Strackbein's suggestion that San Francisco might have to absorb some of the $14.124 million the receiver is slated to earn in 2024 on the fifth-year option to complete the trade.

Over the weekend, a separate sketchy report surfaced stating that Aiyuk had requested to be traded. The receiver's agent, Ryan Williams, promptly shot down the rumor.

Offering insight into these rumors, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk shared his perspective on Pittsburgh sports radio station 93.7 The Fan, specifically focusing on the Steelers' reported interest.

"The notion that Aiyuk had requested a trade is not accurate," Florio shared, per Alex Kozora of Steelers Depot. "The notion that the Steelers had been the most aggressive is not accurate. My understanding is there was maybe a phone call weeks ago and the response was, 'We're not trading the guy.' And that was that."

General manager John Lynch echoed this sentiment last month during a discussion with reporters, stating, "I promise you, nothing's going on there."

The 49ers executive emphasized the team's commitment to keeping Aiyuk on the roster for the foreseeable future, telling reporters that the two sides were "actively talking."

Florio continued, "Now, I fully expect interested teams to re-engage as the draft approaches, especially with that report out there. I also believe there's a chance that there's been some conversation along the lines of, not that he's asked for a trade, but looking for teams that might be interested in doing something."

Most insiders agree that if the 49ers were to trade Aiyuk, it would likely happen before or during Day 1 of the draft. However, it's unlikely to materialize unless the team receives an overwhelming offer. The terms laid out by Strackbein fall outside that category. If Aiyuk remains with the 49ers beyond the draft's first round, it would signal the team's confidence in securing a long-term deal with him.


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