The Pittsburgh Steelers are loaded in the wide receiver position. With veterans Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool already on the roster, Pittsburgh picked Georgia’s George Pickens (52nd overall) and Mephis’ Calvin Austin III (138th overall) in the 2022 NFL draft.
Perhaps the picks suggest that the Steelers are preparing to move on from Johnson, who is in the final year of his rookie contract and is now expected to hit free agency in March. Or maybe the club is looking to cut ties with Johnson sooner.
Bleacher Report, king of commercial proposals, suggests Steelers seek to raise some draft capital in return for budding recipients.
Kristopher Knox of BR wrote, “Given the rapid success we’ve seen recently from Pittsburgh’s rookie receivers and proven ability to develop them, it’s time to move Johnson for draft capital and go deep. Entering the 2023 receiver pool is something Pittsburgh will have to consider if it is considering the next season and beyond. “
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It’s no wonder the Steelers have a history of success with casting young talent who end production right away. Returning Johnson, especially if he is not in the future, would be a wise move.
Usually, Pittsburgh doesn’t work this way – it likes to keep players on their entire first contract. But that was under another general manager; this is Omar Khan’s gig, and he might be looking to rock things up a bit.
Back for Diontae Johnson
In a separate section of “fireworks” commercial scenarios, Knox specifically proposed the Pittsburgh Steelers swap Diontae Johnson for a 2023 Dallas Cowboys second-round pick.
The Steelers currently have six picks in the 2023 draft, as they traded a fifth-round player to the Seattle Seahawks for Ahkello Witherspoon before the start of the 2021 season. Getting a pick for Johnson would be wise for him. with a rebuilding team like Pittsburgh.
“Adding Johnson will help ensure that Dallas’ top-rated offense continues,” Knox wrote. “Meanwhile, the Steelers will get more of a return than they would for losing Johnson to an offset option in 2023.”
“If the Steelers are not willing to lock Johnson, they can trade him out of the conference and for the Dallas Cowboys, who have lost both Amari Cooper (traded) and Cedrick Wilson Jr. during the season.”
Control where Johnson’s land will be huge for Pittsburgh. There’s no guarantee he won’t end up with the club’s biggest rivals – the Baltimore Ravens – if Johnson plays through free agency with Black & Gold. After all, The Raven is starving for talent in a wide-ranging entry.
After failing in the first two seasons, Johnson finally got it in 2021 – mostly. Johnson’s game was hampered by 19 dropped passes as a rookie and sophomore. Last season, he went 10 games in a row without a single drop, falling behind only five of the last six. However, Johnson still scored career records in yards (1,161) and touchdown (8).
Most likely the Steelers will keep Johnson, as the trade-off of their most effective offensive talent would leave a Chase Claypool unfit for the WR1 role.
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https://heavy.com/sports/pittsburgh-steelers/diontae-johnson-cowboys-trade-nfl-draft/ Steelers get Cowboys draft pick for Diontae Johnson