According to free agent running back David Johnson on Friday, he was unable to come to terms on a deal with the New Orleans Saints after recently having a visit with them. So, with Johnson still looking for a 2022 team, might the Pittsburgh Steelers be a team he would be willing to sign with? Well, judging by a response to a fan on Twitter on Friday, that would be a yes.
— David Johnson (@DavidJohnson31) June 17, 2022
“That would be a great place to be at!” Johnson responded.
Johnson, who is now 30, was with the Houston Texans last season. The former third round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals rushed for 228 yards last season with the Texans in addition to catching 32 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown. He logged 317 offensive snaps played in 2021 with the Texans
Currently, the Steelers have six running backs under contract in Najee Harris, Benny Snell Jr., Anthony McFarland Jr., Trey Edmunds, Mataeo Durant, and Jaylen Warren. Of that group of six, only two, Harris, Snell, and McFarland saw offensive playing time for the Steelers in 2021. McFarland, by the way, played all of 19 offensive snaps last season and touched the football all of four times. As for two of the other running backs under contract, Durant and Warren, both are rookies that were signed as undrafted free agents.
Assuming he’s healthy, Johnson, at this point in his career, could possibly remind one of former NFL running DeAngelo Williams, who spent two seasons with the Steelers from 2015-2016 as an experienced backup to then-starting running back Le’Veon Bell. When Williams signed with the Steelers, he was right around 32 years of age.
While Snell is currently slated to be the backup to Harris again in 2022, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to look into signing Johnson on the cheap to provide the team an experienced alternative. Our own Lucas Campbell recently suggested as much earlier this month.
How much money is Johnson looking for and was that a main reason why he didn’t sign with the Saints after visiting them? It’s hard to say for sure. At this point of the offseason, Johnson might just decide to wait until training camps get underway to see if a team loses a starting running back to injury. Even so, it sounds like he would be open to talking to the Steelers, if he hasn’t already. He might be open to talking with any team willing to pay him more than the minimum, however.
David Johnson's longest run of the season….. pic.twitter.com/ROMWAN5Drr
— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) January 9, 2022