What would Steelers have to give up in trade for 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk?

Brandon Aiyuk to the Pittsburgh Steelers has been the hottest-debated topic tied to the team this offseason.

The disgruntled wide receiver unfollowed the San Fransisco 49ers on social media this week, a clear sign that ongoing negotiations for a long-term contract are not going well.

For a player, deleting association with a team is akin to changing relationship status to single and removing all photo evidence of your significant other and it does often lead to a parting of ways.

That could happen any day, on draft day or in the moments after. Mandatory minicamp doesn’t start until June, but the Steelers and their fans certainly hope the courtship doesn’t last that long.

What would Pittsburgh have to give up for a player of Aiyuk’s caliber?

“I think what would be more likely is the Steelers giving up a future No. 2 choice and also swapping first-round picks,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac wrote in his April 17 Q&A.

It may sound like a lot, but the Steelers need a top-tier veteran after trading their own in a March transaction with the Carolina Panthers. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Pittsburgh uses a first or second-round pick on a receiver via the NFL draft, so swapping or giving up one for a proven player is worth it. A rookie is an unknown commodity outside of college-level performance.

If the deal goes down, it becomes a matter of what’s next.

An ideal scenario would involve San Fransisco footing some (or all) of Aiyuk’s remaining $14 million bill. Though Pittsburgh wouldn’t need to extend him this offseason, it’s likely they will. According to Spotrac, Aiyuk’s market value is $24.9 million, and that sounds like the low end of the final figure.

At 26, Aiyuk hasn’t even reached his prime yet and he’s produced insane numbers (2,357 yards, 15 touchdowns) over the past two seasons. He’ll be around for a contract or two.

Aiyuk is worth it, even if it’s not to the San Fransisco 49ers.

Story originally appeared on Steelers Wire