Steelers Still Looking For WR Help, Inquired About Brandon Aiyuk

Despite adding big names at quarterback like Russell Wilson and Justin Fields, the Steelers’ passing attack this year will still depend on their wide receiving corps. After trading away Diontae Johnson and watching Allen Robinson depart in free agency, Pittsburgh has been on a search for another veteran receiver to pair with budding star George Pickens, per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

It’s not like the Steelers haven’t addressed the position since Johnson and Robinson’s departures. The team has added experienced receivers like Van Jefferson and Quez Watkins, but despite strong sophomore campaigns from both players, neither has shown the ability to be a consistent, reliable supporting wide receiver. Perhaps Pittsburgh plans to return Cordarrelle Patterson to his wide receiver roots, but more likely, the team will continue looking to add an experienced veteran.

We’ve seen the Steelers kick the tires on plenty of such free agents so far this offseason. They brought in division-rival Tyler Boyd, who played at nearby Pitt in college, but are reportedly out of the running after making a disappointing offer. The team also brought in former Chargers veteran Mike Williams, who could’ve worked well alongside Pickens after spending years as WR2 behind Keenan Allen, but Williams ultimately landed with Aaron Rodgers and the Jets.

Now, Dulac reports that we can add Brandon Aiyuk to that list of veteran wideouts that have piqued the Steelers’ interest. Aiyuk is not a free agent, so this isn’t a situation in which Pittsburgh can host the 49ers receiver and evaluate him in person. Also, despite the two sides being far apart in extension negotiations, Aiyuk has not delivered a trade request to the 49ers. In fact, San Francisco is reportedly actively rebuffing trade inquiries from outside parties.

As much as the Steelers would like to lure Aiyuk to Pittsburgh, there’s only so much they can do without the 49ers deciding to relent and participate. Until then, Pittsburgh will have to continue taking swings elsewhere. Boyd remains available. As do free agents Hunter Renfrow, Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Gallup, and Michael Thomas. Several veteran names are sitting in free agency. The Steelers just need to determine if any are the right fit for their new-look offense.

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