Thursday’s “First Call” gives us San Francisco’s reaction to a Steelers trade inquiry for Brandon Aiyuk. We also have an interesting note about a Steelers draft option. Pirates prospect Paul Skenes gets ready to pitch again in Indianapolis.

And Marc-Andre Fleury explains his decision to come back for one more year.

Thanks, but no thanks

The Steelers inquired about trading for wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and were shut down by the San Francisco 49ers.

That was the word from ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio on 93.7 The Fan on Wednesday.

Florio’s account would appear to be in line with what Niners general manager John Lynch told Mike Tomlin at a recent interaction during Michigan’s Pro Day. But the Steelers apparently did their diligence in at least following up with a potential trade offer.

The report also matches what Ian Rapoport advanced Tuesday, which is that the teams have been calling about Aiyuk’s availability, but the 49ers haven’t been engaging in conversations.

Aiyuk wants a new contract instead of the team’s $14.1 million fifth-year option. He totaled 75 receptions, 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns in 2023.

Paul vs. St. Paul

At last word, Pirates’ first-round draft choice Paul Skenes is supposed to be pitching Thursday night against the St. Paul Saints. The Indianapolis Indians are still promoting his appearance there even though there was some buzz that Skenes might get called up because the Pirates optioned left-handed pitcher Jose Hernandez to Triple-A Indy.

Last week, the LSU product racked up a season-high eight strikeouts in 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Fifteen of his pitches hit 100 mph or faster. He still has a 0.00 ERA after three games and 9 ½ innings.

Skenes is no longer the biggest name prospect in Indianapolis, though. That’s probably Caitlin Clark now. The WNBA No. 1 selection was just picked by the Indiana Fever. Despite his LSU allegiances, Skenes welcomed the Iowa star to town on behalf of the Indians.

As for the Pirates, they have an off day following three straight losses in New York against the Mets. They will try to rediscover a winning touch against the Boston Red Sox on Friday at PNC Park.


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Scouting who else is scouting

If the Steelers have an interest in Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft, they may have more homework on him than a lot of other clubs.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the potential first-rounder had a limited list of teams that he visited due to medical rechecks of a broken leg he suffered in mid-November. Rapoport claims that the only other visits DeJean had were with the Bills, Eagles and Seahawks.

Despite the injury, DeJean tested well, running a 4.43-second 40-yard dash and posting an impressive 38.5-inch vertical leap.

Fleury finalizes plan

Marc-Andre Fleury has put his retirement speculation to rest. The former Penguins goalie has announced that he is signing a contract to play one final year with the Minnesota Wild. It’ll be for $2.5 million.

Many had thought that this would be Fleury’s final season. The 39-year-old admitted that he was leaning in that direction as recently as October. But he has since changed his mind and decided to suit up with the Wild for one more year.

“I’m grateful to keep doing what I love for one more season,” Fleury said. “I thought about it a lot this year. But, still having the chance to compete, the intensity, the pursuit to be in the best league in the world, and also to compete with young guys, I feel very lucky to be able to do it.”

Fleury added that he wanted to get the speculation over with before the offseason begins.

“I’ve been asked a lot — fans, media, friends, family — (about) what’s next for me. It’s good just to settle, and (now) I don’t have to talk about it for another year. Next year will be the last. Yeah, excited to get this done today.”

During the season, Fleury passed Patrick Roy for second place behind Martin Brodeur on the NHL’s all-time list in career goaltending wins with 561. Brodeur (691) is still 130 ahead of Fleury.

This season, Fleury is 17-14-5 with an .895 save percentage. That is the lowest of his 20-year career. His 2.98 goals against average is his worst in seven seasons. The Wild were eliminated from contention for the playoffs last week. They host Seattle on Thursday to conclude the season.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at or via X. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.