Steelers rumored trade target could come with a Russell Wilson connection

The Steelers have been linked to a former teammate of quarterback Russell Wilson as a potential trade target to address their receiving woes.
Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks
Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Days after recent news suggested the Pittsburgh Steelers have essentially shut down the idea of drafting a wide receiver in favor of bringing in an experienced option, a rumored target has emerged, one whom Russell Wilson would welcome with open arms.

Alan Saunders of Steelers Now suggests that the Steelers could pursue veteran wideout Tyler Lockett of the Seattle Seahawks, who caught passes from Wilson for seven seasons from 2015 to 2021.

Steelers connected to former Russell Wilson teammate Tyler Lockett

Saunders points out that Lockett recently agreed to a restructured contract with the Seahawks, paving the way for the Steelers to trade for the dynamic pass-catcher after June 1 when his dead cap hit gets halved from $27.8 million to $13.9 million. Seattle waiting until then to part ways with him would also create $5 million in salary relief for them, creating additional incentive to get a deal done. 

Considering the Seahawks are in a transition phase after moving on from longtime head coach Pete Carroll and signing former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald as his replacement, shedding long-term money off their payroll and recouping draft assets for it could be worthwhile. This is especially true considering the presence of 2023 first-round pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba on the roster and them already having one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL in the form of D.K. Metcalf.

Lockett demonstrated a mind-melding connection with quarterback Wilson during their time together in Seattle, forming one of the best deep-ball tandems in the league. The former eclipsed the 70-catch and 1,000-yard threshold while hauling in at least eight touchdown receptions in the last three seasons in which the latter was under center for the Seahawks.

Could we see Lockett and Wilson reunite in Pittsburgh? While that remains unclear, it would be shocking if the Steelers enter the 2024 season with their current receiver depth chart behind 2022 second-round pick George Pickens, especially after trading Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers this offseason.