Guess what, folks. It’s training camp time. And that means it’s time for training camp questions. For the first time since 2019, the Pittsburgh Steelers are actually back at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe after having been forced to remain in Pittsburgh, where they held their past two training camps inside of the Field Formerly Known as Heinz.
Even though the Steelers are back on very familiar ground, more specifically on that of Chuck Noll Field, this is a training camp that is unusually full of certainty. After all, they haven’t had a genuine quarterback battle in a couple of decades, but they have one now with Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett, and Mason Rudolph.
We’ve got yet another new offensive line, with some incoming veterans in James Daniels and Mason Cole. Myles Jack is in at inside linebacker, replacing Joe Schobert, and we’ll have to see if Devin Bush can return to form after last year’s dismal display.
There’s still so much going on, and training camp will only create more questions as we go along, even as it starts to provide some answers. We’ll be covering them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.
Question: Do you like the Diontae Johnson contract extension for the Steelers?
The Steelers announced earlier this week that they agreed to a new two-year contract extension with fourth-year wide receiver Diontae Johnson, or more accurately, a new three-year contract with the previous contract being torn up.
The deal pays him $18,355,000 million in new money average for the 2023 and 2024 seasons, which includes the new signing bonus that was a part of the deal, which he gets this year. That average puts him in the very low end of the top 20 highest-paid players at his position.
It’s quite possible that the Steelers would not go much higher, which could explain the short-term nature of the deal, allowing Johnson to enter free agency in just two more years after this, still potentially in his prime, while making money now—and perhaps escaping the threat of a franchise tag in the process.
So the question is, do you like this move, for the Steelers? Is it a move in their best interests? It doesn’t affect the 2022 season since he was already under contract, so, obviously, this is about the next two years afterward.
The move now guarantees that they will have Johnson, Chase Claypool, George Pickens, and Calvin Austin III all under contract for at least the next two years, assuming that they keep making the 53-man roster. That aspect of it is certainly good, and Johnson’s deal isn’t too huge of an anchor that would prevent them from making other moves that they saw fit. Yet still, many didn’t seem to believe that he deserved a significant extension at all. Was this the happy compromise that makes (almost) everyone content?