Updated: Apr 19, 2022
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Diontae Johnson is reportedly not happy with the Steelers contract offers. According to Andrew Fillipponi of 93.7 The Fan, Johnson did not attend the start of the Steelers voluntary offseason program on Monday because he feels like the Steelers are lowballing him. Johnson wants to get paid like his perceived wide receiver peers Terry McLaurin, DK Metcalf and Deebo Samuel.
Johnson posted some criptic tweets this morning that suggested he wasn't happy about something, and it appears it could be about be his contact situation. One of his tweets was deleted and he had another post where he said, "Lmaoo it be ya own 'fans'."
Johnson, 25, had a career-best year in 2021, recording 107 receptions for 1,161 yards (10.9 average) and eight touchdowns. This past year, Johnson cleaned up his drop issues that plagued him in 2020, but they did recur late in the season. For the most part, it was an impressive season by Johnson that should land him a hefty payday. With wide receivers earning more money now than ever, the question remains how much are the Steelers willing to give Johnson? According to Spotrac, Johnson's market value is four years, $88.2 million, an average of $22,070,527 per year.
If you don't count the one-year deal that JuJu Smith-Schuster signed last year, under Kevin Colbert, the Steelers have handed out second contracts to just two wide receivers -- Hines Ward and Antonio Brown. If the Steelers can't land a deal with Johnson, it will be interesting to see if a trade is worked out.
The Steelers lost JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud via free agency this offseason, so they're already thin at the receiver position. Regardless of Johnson's status, the Steelers are expected to select a receiver high in the draft this year. It wouldn't be surprising if the Steelers draft two receivers, either.
Update: With the rumors about Johnson not being happy about the Steelers contract offers, Johnson tweeted, "Don’t believe everything you see lol." Johnson also suggested that Fillipponi just made up the story.
According to Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports, the Steelers have not started contract talks with Johnson.