After seeing five fellow wide receivers drafted after the first round of the 2019 NFL draft get contract extensions, Diontae Johnson finally has his own, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.
Steelers and Diontae Johnson reached agreement on a two-year deal that averages $18.355 million per year, per @ByKimberleyA and me.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 4, 2022
Johnson stays with the Steelers through at least 2024, and his contract is worth a maximum of $39 million dollars with $27 million of it guaranteed.
The extension itself is an interesting one. The Steelers, known throughout the league as one of the best evaluators and drafters at the wide receiver position, rarely extend their skill position players on the outside. Just this offseason, they let JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington leave via free agency and went back to the draft. The Steelers selected George Pickens out of Georgia in round two and Calvin Austin III in round five.
The details of the extension are very peculiar as well. His peers from the same draft class have received short-term extensions with only one of them being over four seasons.
Six WRs taken outside the first-round in 2019 have gotten paid this offseason:
– AJ Brown: 4-years, $100M
– DK Metcalf: 3-years, $72M
– Deebo Samuel: 3-years, $71.5M
– Terry McLaurin: 3-years, $71M
– Diontae Johnson: 2-years, $36.7M
– Hunter Renfrow: 2-years, $32M
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 4, 2022
Johnson’s extension comes in at under $20 million, with only Hunter Renfrow also making less than $20 million. Terry McLaurin is making $5 million more in fourth place with AJ Brown making nearly $7 million more. The benefit for Johnson in this scenario is he stays in Pittsburgh, which has a history of maximizing its talent on the outside, and he stays in a familiar situation. At age 26, he’ll have an opportunity to cash in again before turning 30.
The contract’s full details are not available. The Steelers had $14,338,932 in 2022 cap space and $38,473,119 in 2023 cap space for 2023, per Over The Cap. His contract will fit comfortably in their plans moving forward.
Tyler Forness contributed to this report.