Steelers Rumors: Pittsburgh could trade WR Diontae Johnson if the price is right

A Diontae Johnson trade seems like a real possibility at this point.

Pittsburgh Steelers, Diontae Johnson
Pittsburgh Steelers, Diontae Johnson / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

After a strong finish to the 2023 season, it looked like the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to be content with their starting wide receivers in 2024. That may not be the case. As we inch forward toward the new league year, it looks like there's a real possibility that Diontae Johnson will get traded.

Johnson went viral for the wrong reason during the 2023 season when he gave up on a play when a live ball landed by his feet and was scooped up by the opposing defense. Multiple reports suggest that attitude has been an issue at the wide receiver position for Pittsburgh, and his future with the team was murky.

Now all signs seem to be pointing toward a potential trade. Recently, NFL insider Tony Pauline wrote that Johnson is 'possibly' on the trade block if the price is right.

"Is Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson on the trading block? The short answer is possibly, if the price is right. While it’s not fair to say Johnson is on the trading block, several people tell me the Steelers are open to moving the receiver if they receive fair compensation."

Tony Pauline via Sportskeeda

Shortly after, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic joined 93.7 The Fan where he expressed that he's heard Diontae Johnson might not want to be on the Steelers in 2024.

"I've heard some stuff here and there... It might be the Steelers are looking to see who's interested because, potentially, Diontae Johnson might not want to be here, either."

Mark Kaboly via The Athltic

Quite frankly, this doesn't come as a big surprise. Not only was Johnson's attitude and demeanor an issue at times for Pittsburgh last year, but we also have the right to question how well he will fit into Arthur Smith's scheme offensively.

Diontae Johnson trade is realistic, and he may no longer be a fit with the Steelers

Johnson isn't keen on blocking, and that is something that he will be asked to do often for Smith. Perhaps the change in offensive coordinator was the boost the Steelers needed to get the ball rolling when it comes to a trade.

Another factor that is seldom talked about is Diontae Johnson's contract situation. The former 2019 third-round pick has just one year remaining on the two-year, $36.71 million extension he signed with the Steelers during the 2022 offseason. If neither party is interested in getting an extension done this offseason, this means that Johnson could walk away during the 2025 offseason and Pittsburgh won't get anything from him (unless they are willing to slap the hefty franchise tag on him).

Believe it or not, Johnson still holds plenty of trade value. Johnson has been Pittsburgh's top wide receiver in nearly every year since entering the league in 2019, and teams will value a player who can routinely get open. In five seasons, Johnson has accumulated 391 receptions, 4,363 yards, and 25 touchdowns while making the Pro Bowl once.

It's also worth mentioning that Johnson's base salary is very cheap. While his cap number is over $15.8 million for the 2024 season, the team trading for him would only need to pay him $7 million in base salary, per Over the Cap.

The Diontae Johnson trade talks are heating up, and this is a Steelers rumor that is easy to make sense of. Omar Khan already traded a former second-round receiver in one of his first big moves as general manager. Don't be surprised if Johnson gets dealt this offseason

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