Whether you appreciated the fact a late-round draft pick earned his way into regular playing time through versatility, or you blamed him for his role in the Rashard Mendenhall fumble during their loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV; few Pittsburgh Steelers fans will forget the name David Johnson.
Johnson was a tight end-turned full back-turned back to a tight end during his stay in Pittsburgh. Former offensive coordinator used Johnson as a hybird of the two. Head coach Mike Tomlin and current OC Todd Haley admired his blocking ability at both standard spots. Evidently, they weren't the only ones who appreciated what Johnson brought to the table.
Chargers reach two-year deal with ex-Steelers TE David Johnson. Primarily a blocker. Has experience at fullback, too.— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) March 12, 2014
With Heath Miller receiving a contract extension recently and Matt Spaeth under contract for the upcoming season to be the second TE, the Steelers probably weren't offering much incentive for Johnson to stay. While terms of his new deal have yet to be disclosed, Johnson was most likely just looking to extend his tumultuous young career.
If Johnson's health can hold up in San Diego, his blocking proficiency could become an asset to a team struggling to maintain an identity in the run game to open up more opportunities for Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen and the passing game. Johnson proved in Pittsburgh he also has capable hands as a receiver, and could be utilized as a red zone and short yardage threat while defenses key on Allen and Antonio Gates.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh will move on without Johnson. Will Johnson has put a chokehold on the fullback position, and the team team will most likely look to the draft or free agency to fill out the bottom of their depth chart.
Johnson won't be remembered as a marquee name of the Steelers modern championship era, but he did become an integral part of those teams. Not bad for a player drafted low with expectations to match.