Steelers Floated as Possible Trade Suitor for WR With Russell Wilson Ties

Russell Wilson Tyler Lockett

Getty Steelers Now's Alan Saunders argued the Pittsburgh Steelers could acquire veteran wide receiver Tyler Lockett to reunite him with quarterback Russell Wilson.

Despite hype for a significant offseason receiver acquisition, the Pittsburgh Steelers have yet to add a big-time playmaker at wideout since trading Diontae Johnson. Steelers Now’s Alan Saunders argued that the team could now be waiting on a potential post-June 1 trade to make their big-time receiver addition. If that’s the case, Saunders argued Seattle Seahawks wideout Tyler Lockett is a possible target.

Lockett played seven seasons in Seattle with new Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson.

“Lockett just restructured his deal with the Seahawks this offseason, which would make a pre-June 1 trade costly to Seattle,” Saunders wrote. “If they traded Lockett now, that would incur a $27.8 million dead cap hit and cost the Seahawks an additional $8.9 million in cap space on top of what is slated to cost.

“But if they waited until after June 1, a Lockett trade would only have a $13.9 million dead cap hit this season, while saving Seattle’s cap in 2024 $5 million in room. To the Steelers, Lockett would be a bargain, with just $4.67 million in guaranteed salary and $340,000 in roster bonuses.”

From 2019-22, Lockett posted four consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Three of those campaigns were with Wilson as his quarterback.

With Wilson behind center, Lockett recorded more than 16 yards per reception in 2018 and 2021. The veteran receiver also posted a pair of 10-touchdown campaigns with Wilson (2018 and 2021).

In 2023, Lockett had 79 catches, 894 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns.

How WR Tyler Lockett Could Fit With the Steelers

A lot of pundits have labeled the Steelers an obvious fit for veteran receiver Tyler Boyd. Pittsburgh trading for star wideout Brandon Aiyuk has been another popular rumor this offseason.

But Lockett could be an even better fit for the Steelers.

He’s been both a possession receiver and big playmaker in his career. Lockett is more likely to be the former at this point of his career. He turns 32 in September.

That should be just fine for the Steelers, as they have George Pickens, who led the NFL with 18.1 yards per reception last season.

Lockett has been the perfect receiver for the Seahawks to pair with DK Metcalf, who is another freakishly athletic big-play receiver. It would be a very similar role for Lockett with Pickens.

Of course, Lockett’s previous experience with Wilson would also be a great benefit for the Pittsburgh offense.

Even if the Steelers draft a receiver, Lockett would likely slide well into the No. 2 role. Pickens is currently the only wideout the Steelers have on their roster who had more than 209 receiving yards last season.

The Steelers have signed veterans Van Jefferson and Quez Watkins since the Johnson trade. However, Jefferson and Watkins combined for only 351 receiving yards in 2023.

Will the Seahawks Be Willing to Trade Lockett?

The Steelers trading for Lockett makes a lot of sense on paper. But the question is whether the Seahawks will be willing to depart with him.

Saunders suggested Seattle could at least be interested in hearing what Lockett is worth on the trade market.

“The team could see the veteran as both expendable and not a big part of their ongoing rebuild,” Saunders wrote. “The Seahawks used their first-round pick on Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba in 2023. He had 93 targets and for 628 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie.”

After that productive rookie season, the Seahawks could move Jaxon Smith-Njigba into the No. 2 receiver role opposite Metcalf.

The next big question is trade compensation.

NFL teams haven’t gotten a lot in return for veteran wide receivers in trades this offseason. That’s good news for the Steelers. And if the trade is a post-June 1 deal, the draft compensation for Lockett will be for next year.

If Lockett garners such a small return in a trade, though, it’s worth wondering if such a deal will be worth it for Seattle. The Seahawks would have to want to give Smith-Njigba more opportunities to be willing to give up Lockett for a small return.

Lockett also made it very clear to reporters on April 10 that he doesn’t want to leave Seattle.

“Tyler Lockett ended his press conference by saying he doesn’t want to see any more articles suggesting he be traded,” wrote The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar on X (formerly Twitter).

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