‘Slim’ chance Diontae Johnson gets deal before season?


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Earlier on Tuesday, Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan remarked that the team’s front office wants star wide receiver Diontae Johnson to remain with the organization “for a long time.” 

Johnson is in the final year of his rookie contract and isn’t fully participating in practices as he looks to secure a long-term extension presumably similar to deals recently signed by D.K. Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks and Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers. Per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN (h/t Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk), Brad Cicala, Johnson’s agent, attended Pittsburgh’s camp session on Tuesday, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the parties are close to putting pen to paper on an agreement. 

Williams noted that Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the Steelers and Johnson’s camp are so far apart that “the plausibility of getting a deal done before the Sept. 11 season opener in Cincinnati is slim.” It’s expected the Steelers will not negotiate with Johnson once they begin the regular season at the division-rival Cincinnati Bengals next month per a team policy.

The exact financial guarantees Johnson is seeking this summer coming off his first Pro Bowl season are unclear. He finished the 2021 campaign as the team leader with 107 catches for 1,161 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. 

The Steelers drafted receivers George Pickens and Calvin Austin III this spring and, thus, theoretically could make Johnson available to would-be buyers during the preseason. 


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