Tight end David Johnson signs one-year deal with the Steelers

Jared Wickerham

Johnson was poised to be the team's starting fullback in 2012 before a torn ACL ended his season in the first preseason game.

It seems like years ago the conversation was whether the Steelers would use David Johnson as a fullback/H-back hybrid role player.

And then, the first of Marcus Gilbert strikes happened, and Johnson was lost for the year.

He went down with a torn ACL in the first game of the preseason - his restricted free agency year. Apparently, the Steelers are pleased enough with his rehabilitation to offer him a one-year deal to re-sign with the only team he's known.

Johnson had 18 catches and 146 yards in his three years in the league. He only missed one game in those three years, interestingly, the same amount of missed games as Mike Wallace had. Johnson was a seventh-round pick in 2009.

It's a wide open tight end battle in Pittsburgh this year with the knee injury suffered by Heath Miller (not due to Gilbert's loss of gravity and/or balance) in Week 17 of the 2012 season. The idea of drafting a tight end in the first round has come up recently, and with Johnson coming off an knee injury of his own and second-year David Paulson having very little experience, it's not out of the question the Steelers look to keep a third tight end only if he could play fullback.

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