The Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and Las Vegas Raiders all signed receivers to megadeals this offseason. The likes of Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, and Tyreek Hill are all making well north of $20 million per year and attribute a significant chunk of their team’s respected salary cap. While they are all great players, seeing these deals go through makes me think the Steelers current system of drafting and cycling through the position is a better bet. Of course, having a prime Antonio Brown on your team, like the Steelers had just a few years ago, is a reasonable player to extend with a big contract. The only problem is the Steelers don’t have anyone close to that level on their current roster.
Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson will become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2022 season and if he’s looking for a $20 million per year contract, the Steelers should not give it to him. By all means, another NFL organization can, but when building a roster giving a receiver that kind of money shouldn’t be done unless they have league MVP potential. The same goes for Chase Claypool in 2023, unless he shows something we haven’t seen from him yet, he’s another player the team shouldn’t be afraid to move on from.
After Antonio Brown lost his mind in 2018, the Steelers went through a cycle of drafting a receiver within the first three rounds in three consecutive draft classes. It started with Diontae Johnson, then James Washington, and finally Chase Claypool. In hindsight, it was smart roster building. When thinking about it further, it makes fans wish the Steelers drafted a receiver last year as well. As we sit here in 2022 the team only has two options on its roster and will need to draft at least one receiver, but will need to acquire at least two before the end of this offseason.
If the Steelers select two receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft they can easily move on from Diontae Johnson in 2023. They would have three NFL caliber players at the position, which would be more than what they currently have. With more receiving talent coming out by the year, signing these players to mega deals isn’t necessary to keep your team great.
But what do you think? Should the Steelers move on from their wide receivers and replace them In the draft? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.