Deebo Samuel (left) and Brandon Aiyuk( (right) talk during game.
An AFC contender is reportedly inching closer to completing a trade for one of the San Francisco 49ers’ two superstar wide receivers, Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk.

Both Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk have been widely mentioned in trade rumors throughout the 2025 offseason. Samuel has two years left on his deal, while Aiyuk is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract.

During his appearance on “The Joe Starkey Show”, Pittsburgh Steelers insider Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the AFC North club “will have a” new wide receiver by September. Fittipaldo opines that it will be either Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk:

“They will have a number two receiver on their roster come September, who is not on their roster now…I think it will be either Aiyuk or Samuel. I think there is another shoe to drop out there in San Francisco, they have too many good receivers.”

The Steelers traded their No. 2 wide receiver, Diontae Johnson, to the Carolina Panthers in a blockbuster deal that brought veteran cornerback Donte Jackson over to Steel City.

GM Omar Khan hasn’t made any big WR splashes via trade or free agency this offseason, but he did use the No. 84 pick on promising Michigan product Roman Wilson. But with the 49ers seemingly listening to offers on both Samuel and Aiyuk, the opportunity is there for Khan to find George Pickens’ sidekick and take this offense to another level.

Deebo Samuel Is A More Realistic Trade Candidate Than Brandon Aiyuk

Brandon Aiyuk is the younger and more explosive wide receiver, but it’s hard to envision a scenario where 49ers GM John Lynch prioritizes keeping Samuel over the 2020 first-round pick.

Aiyuk was San Francisco’s top wide receiver last season, and he’s two years younger than the injury-prone Samuel. By trading the 28-year-old, the 49ers would clear $22 million in cap space for 2024 and just over $17.568 million for 2025, per

Regardless, both Samuel and Aiyuk would make significant impacts on a Pittsburgh offense that needs more playmakers. Pickens displayed signs of growing into a superstar last year, but a No. 2 WR is necessary if Pittsburgh is to contend in the crowded AFC.