The Pittsburgh Steelers and wide receiver Diontae Johnson have been at an impasse for the entire offseason. The team had its priorities, in terms of contract extensions, and Johnson clearly wasn’t one of those top priorities.
After watching teammates Minkah Fitzpatrick and Chris Boswell get new contracts, Johnson continued to wait for his turn. During this period, Johnson watched other receivers around the league, like DK Metcalf and Deebo Samuel, get handsomely rewarded for their skill sets.
Yet Johnson had to wait.
When the Steelers reported to training camp, Johnson took a page out of T.J. Watt’s 2021 schedule and decided not to participate in any team drills until a new deal is done. Well, fans can expect to see Johnson back on the practice field fully as it the two parties agreed on a two-year contract extension.
This per Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network:
The #Steelers and WR Diontae Johnson have agreed on a two-year, $36.71 million extension, source says. The sides worked last night and this morning to end his hold-in with a shorter deal than we’ve seen from others that allows him to be a free agent again after the 2024 season.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 4, 2022
According to Adam Schefter, the deal gives Johnson $27 million dollars in guaranteed money.
Steelers new two-year extension for WR Diontae Johnson is worth up to $39.5 million and includes $27 million guaranteed, per source. pic.twitter.com/wSjrKZDNJD— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 4, 2022
Since being drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft. Diontae Johnson has seen an increase in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns each year of his three-year career. In 2021, Johnson was added as a Pro Bowl replacement after putting up his first 1,000 yard season where he had 107 receptions on 169 targets for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns.
Johnson has been a tremendous asset to the Steelers offense throughout his career, but doesn’t come without his warts. Mainly in the form of dropped passes. Nonetheless, Johnson staying within the Pittsburgh organization gives them some consistency at the wide receiver position. Consistency they haven’t had in a long time. In fact, outside of JuJu Smith-Schuster’s one-year contract in 2021, the last receiver to get a second contract with the Steelers was none other than Antonio Brown.
It should also be noted the speed at which some of these contracts have been done, and how this could be a direct link to new General Manager (GM) Omar Khan. At this point, it is unlikely the Steelers re-do any other contracts prior to the start of the regular season.
UPDATE: The Steelers have officially announced Diontae Johnson’s contract.
We have signed WR Diontae Johnson to a new three-year contract. @BordasLaw— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 4, 2022
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of training camp, the preseason and the start of the season.