The Steelers are now in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.
On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.
Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answered, starting with who will be the offensive coordinator. Which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.
Question: Will the Steelers get calls for Diontae Johnson leading up to and during the 2023 NFL Draft?
Discussions about the trade value of a player and the odds of it actually happening tend to be a Rorschach test in which people see in it what they want to see. Those who want the player to be traded tend to believe it’s more realistic and that his worth to other teams would be greater than it might be—even though they don’t want that player on their own team.
Then again, a trade only needs two teams for an agreement, and the Steelers have been on the winning end of some player-for-draft-pick deals in the past, particularly Chase Claypool last year and Martavis Bryant several years back.
Still, I don’t see the Steelers being offered compensation in exchange for Diontae Johnson that would be equal to the value he brings to the team. Regardless of my personal opinion, however, that doesn’t mean teams won’t call.
The most vocal leaders of the Trade Diontae campaign have been Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller on 93.7 The Fan. Seemingly every day on air since the Steelers traded for Allen Robinson II, they have asked every guest their thoughts about the possibility.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk actually said that he does expect Pittsburgh to get calls. And I suppose that’s entirely possible. After all, he is only one year removed from a Pro Bowl season, and I think anybody with a brain understands a zero-touchdown season for something who had 14 touchdowns in a two-year span is an aberration.
Any team interested in trading for Diontae Johnson would essentially take on two one-year contracts, the first $8 million for 2023 and $10 million for 2024, including a $3 million roster bonus due next March. That’s far from a crazy price to pay for him, so it’s not beyond reason that a team would be interested. But what would they be willing to pay?