Steelers Free Agent Spotlight: TE David Johnson


Sep 22, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tight end David Johnson (85) runs after a pass reception as Chicago Bears free safety Chris Conte (47) defends during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Bears won 40-23. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In keeping with the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive free agents, we’ve now come to the tight ends. This time we’re going to take a look at David Johnson, who will become an unrestricted free agent on March 11th.

David Johnson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Arkansas State. He’s played a combination tight end/fullback for the Steelers, with his most significant playing time coming in 2011 when he started all 16 games. He missed the entire 2012 season with an ACL injury. The Steelers waived him after that but signed him to a one year deal in March of 2013. He suffered a season-ending wrist injury in October of 2013 and spent the remainder of the season on injured reserve again.

There’s no secret that the Steelers need to shore up their tight end crew and most are hoping that they address that need with the draft this year. Heath Miller isn’t going to last forever and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add some athletic tight ends that can block and catch to the roster as opposed to just having Heath Miller and a bunch of guys who block.

What’s not going to work into David Johnson’s favor this free agency period is the fact that he’s essentially spent consecutive seasons on injured reserve and Will Johnson emerged in the fullback position over the past two seasons. I’d say that this is a case where the Steelers move on and don’t take a chance signing a guy that could end up on injured reserve again. Time to get younger and more athletic in the tight end corps.

What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? Do you see David Johnson on the Steelers roster again?

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