Pros and cons of Steelers possibly extending WR Diontae Johnson

Diontae Johnson #18 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Diontae Johnson #18 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a big decision to make with Diontae Johnson. Here are the pros and cons of handing him a rich, new extension.

The Steelers have a big decision to make in the near future in regards to Diontae Johnson. This isn’t one of those no-brainer decisions like it was when they made T.J. Watt the highest-paid defender in the league.

While Johnson has been pretty good for Pittsburgh, Spotrac recently projected him to earn $22 million in annual money on his next contract. This would instantly insert him into the top-five highest-paid wide receivers in the league.

The market is always changing, but the wide receiver contracts got really messed up this offseason when the Jaguars handed Christian Kirk a four-year, $72 million deal. Agents obviously use these bad contracts as leverage for new extensions for their clients, so it’s not hard to see how Johnson could earn as much as he’s projected to get.

The question is whether or not he would be worth it. Early in his NFL career, Johnson has been rather inconsistent for Pittsburgh. In 2020, he led the NFL in dropped passes while also managing to be one of the best in the league at creating separation.

Johnson has a long NFL career ahead of him and one that could be pretty good if he continues to improve. However, there’s no easy answer when it comes to the idea of awarding him with a lucrative new contract.

In their current state, the Steelers don’t hold a lot of leverage here, as Johnson is clearly their top receiving option. Let’s break down the pros and cons of a potential massive Diontae Johnson contract extension.