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Why a top-tier receiver trade hasn’t materalized for Steelers

With two months remaining before the preseason, a significant void remains for the Pittsburgh Steelers — or so many believe.

In March, Pittsburgh traded its top receiver, Diontae Johnson, to the Carolina Panthers. He had one season remaining on his contract and had no intentions of extending him, so it made sense. What didn’t make sense was not adequately replacing him.

Buzz before the draft surrounded the Steelers trading for San Fransisco 49ers star Brandon Aiyuk or signing free agent Tyler Boyd — none of which happened.

Why did nothing take shape?

For starters, they believe George Pickens is the Steelers’ No. 1 receiver. Most importantly, though, it’s all about the money, as it always has been for the Steelers.

They simply aren’t going to break the bank.

For example, Pittsburgh likely wanted San Fransisco to foot most or all of Aiyuk’s remaining contract ($14 million in 2024). Even if they would’ve agreed, should the Steelers have wanted Aiyuk as more than just a rental, his estimated market value is $24.9 million.

The Steelers just don’t do those kinds of things, even if it’s to their detriment.

We’ll see what they and offensive coordinator Arthur Smith have up their sleeves to fill the Diontae Johnson void. Teams like the Kansas City Chiefs haven’t had a No. 1 at the wide receiver position in forever, and they seem to be doing just fine.

Then again, the Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t the Kansas City Chiefs.

Story originally appeared on Steelers Wire