Updated: Jun 8, 2022
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
With the wide receiver market taking off and Diontae Johnson heading into his final year on his contract after having a Pro Bowl season, Johnson is in for a significant pay raise. He could be looking for as much as $20 million per season. As crazy as it sounds, that's the going rate for receivers in today's game.
“It’s not like you don’t see it. You see it,” Johnson said at mandatory OTAs on Tuesday via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “The bell rings in your head – such and such got this and such and such got that. I try not to look at the pocket watch and stuff like that. Whoever gets a contract, I feel like they deserve it because they obviously put in the time and the work.
“My time is going to come.”
Johnson set career highs in 2021 with 107 receptions, 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns. He fell off at the end of the season, however, as drops plagued him just as they did in 2020 when he led the league in that category.
Nevertheless, Johnson believes his name should be mentioned with fellow 2019 draft class wide receivers Deebo Samuel of the 49ers, DK Metcalf of the Seahawks and Terry McLaurin of Washington, who are also up for mega contract extensions.
“Most definitely,” he said. “Film don’t lie.”
Johnson wasn't at the first week of voluntary OTAs, but showed up last week, which is an encouraging sign that he won't hold out during training camp.
“I’m just here to work, do what I’m told and get the job done,” Johnson said. “That is my focus.
"I am not really worried about (my contract). I can only control what I can control. I want to be here. I am going to keep working. My agent will do what he does. I am not trying to focus on that. I am not worried about it.
“I’m here doing what I’m supposed to do each and every day. If the contract comes this year, it comes. If it don’t, it don’t. I’m not worried about it. I’m ready to play football and be a Steeler.”