The Pittsburgh Steelers had two major headlines after Week 1 of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Phase 3 started last week.
- Stephon Tuitt’s absence
- Diontae Johnson’s absence
Sure, there was plenty to discuss with Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett donning the black and gold for the first time. The entire 2022 NFL Draft class showing what they can do. But the two veterans who weren’t present certainly dominated the discussion after Week 1.
As the Steelers prepare for Week 2 to start today, Tuesday, one of those headlines/narratives is now gone. That would be because of Diontae Johnson being present for the team’s workout.
This per Ray Fittipaldo of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The Steelers welcome Johnson back into the fold to get him acclimated to both the new offensive system, as well as the new quarterbacks who could be throwing him passes this season.
Johnson reportedly wants a new contract, one which would reflect his perceived worth, but with one year remaining on his rookie contract it is unlikely anything gets done before the start of the 2022 season. Then again, with Omar Khan now at the helm, fans shouldn’t be quick to dismiss anything outside of Khan saying certain principles won’t change, like the team won’t negotiate contracts during the season.
With Johnson’s return to the practice field, he is now a part of a very different wide receiver group this offseason. Johnson will be doing practice reps with Miles Boykin, George Pickens and Calvin Austin III for the first time.
Will Johnson’s return endear himself to the Steelers fan base? That has yet to be seen. Otherwise, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they press on throughout Phase 3 of OTAs and mandatory minicamp.