Steelers Writer Thinks Team Will Look for a Cheaper Option at Wide Receiver

pittsburgh steelers

Getty A writer who covers the Pittsburgh Steelers believes the team wants a cheaper WR move than trading for Brandon Aiyuk

It sounds like Pittsburgh Steelers fans may not see the move they’ve been hoping for at wide receive this offseason.

There has been buzz around the Steelers for more than a month about them potentially making a move for another big name to play alongside George Pickens.

Much of that buzz has centered around Brandon Aiyuk, but it seems that the team could be interested in something less costly than trading for the 49ers star.

The Atheltic’s Mark Kaboly appeared on a “93.7 The Fan Live Video” call on April 17 and revealed that he believes the Steelers will be looking to find cheaper options to address their receiver situation.

“I think they’ll do something cheaper or at least try to.”

He believes that Pickens only having a couple of seasons left on his rookie contract will deter the team from paying a bunch of money for another receiver.

“The key is do you want to be committed to a guy for $23, $24 million, do you want to give him three years, $75 million and a year from now have to pay George Pickens similar money?”

Plenty of Cheaper Options Out There

While Aiyuk seems to be the only clear option if the Steelers are looking to make a big move, there are plenty of options if they’re looking to go cheaper.

There’s Tyler Boyd, who has ties to the Pittsburgh area and has yet to find a new team in free agency.

Hunter Renfrow is another notable receiver looking for a team right now. He has had a disappointing last two seasons, but was solid for the Raiders over the first few years of his career. He went over 1000 yards in his third season and could be a good fit for the Steelers’ vacant slot role.

Michael Thomas is another interesting option that could come at a discount. He once looked like he was on his way to becoming the league’s best receiver. Then injuries put a stop to that. He has played just 20 games since the start of the 2020 season.

Last season, he still looked like he could be a productive piece in the NFL. He made 39 catches for 448 yards in 10 games. It’s nowhere close to the numbers he was producing at his best. He broke the league’s single-season record for catches. However, it’s still better than what the Steelers have behind Pickens.

There are also some young receivers that could be trade options because of moves their teams made this offseason.

John Metchie is buried on the Texans’ depth chart after they traded for Stefon Diggs.

Treylon Burks has fallen to the third option in Tennessee just years after he was drafted in the first round as the team added Calvin Ridley this offseason. Burks made 33 catches for 444 yards as a rookie in 2022 and could shift back to the slot role where he succeeded in college if he joined the Steelers.

The options for cheaper receivers seem to be plentiful this offseason and making one of these moves wouldn’t even necessarily require the Steelers to change their draft plans.

The Steelers’ Wide Receiver Situation

Things aren’t great for the Steelers at the wide receiver position right now.

Having Pickens coming off of a season where he racked up 1140 yards is a good place to start, but the options behind him leave a lot to be desired.

None of the team’s other receivers reached 250 yards last season and none of them have reached 400 in either of the last two seasons.

Getting a second option at receiver is definitely something the team needs to do, but it might not be their priority in the draft.

They have bigger needs on their offensive line.

That will likely leave them looking at the third round as their time to add a receiver. They own the 84th and 98th overall picks in this year’s draft.

One of those picks could be used to select a receiver like Malachi Corley or Brenden Rice. they are both outside of the top tiers at the position in this draft class, but could be assets at the next level.

Making one of those lower cost moves at the position wouldn’t necessarily prevent the Steelers from drafting somebody in round three.

They could acquire one of those cheaper options to be the WR2 and then use a rookie as their WR3. The options they currently have are closer to being WR3s, but still aren’t great options for the role.

If the Steelers decide to go with cheaper moves to address their wide receiver situation, then they might want to consider making more than one to get the job done.

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