Sources: Steelers, hold-in WR Johnson get deal

  • Previously covered the Kansas City Chiefs for the Kansas City Star and Oklahoma University for the Oklahoman.

PITTSBURGH — Diontae Johnson got his deal.

After a week-long hold-in at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ training camp, the wide receiver and team reached a two-year extension that averages $18.355 million per year, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Kimberley Martin.

The deal, worth up to $39.5 million if he reaches incentives, includes $27 million guaranteed. Johnson, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, will become a free agent in 2025.

Johnson, 26, was the final remaining hold-in of the 2019 wide receiver draft class after both Deebo Samuel and DK Metcalf got extensions earlier in training camp.

Days before agreeing to the extension, general manager Omar Khan reiterated the team wanted Johnson to remain a Steeler.

“We want Diontae, and we’re excited to have Diontae as part of this team,” Khan said Tuesday. “We hope he’s going to be a Steeler for a long time.”

Johnson, who reported to training camp on time, has been participating in individual drills and working one-on-one with a staffer during team periods. He’s gradually participated in more periods with quarterbacks throwing, but he will be expected to fully join the team in training camp practices with his deal complete.

Johnson led the Steelers with 1,161 yards on 107 receptions last season and hauled in eight touchdowns as retired quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite target.

In signing Johnson to just a two-year extension, the team locks up its top weapon for the immediate future while also retaining long-term flexibility. The shorter deal mirrors a similar approach taken by the team this offseason in signing quarterback Mitch Trubisky, right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor and inside linebacker Myles Jack, among others.

Metcalf and the Seattle Seahawks agreed on a three-year extension worth $72 million last week, while Samuel and the San Francisco 49ers agreed to a three-year extension worth a maximum of $73.5 million on Sunday, sources told Schefter.

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