Diontae Johnson signing with Steelers not a ‘given’ as WR lacks leverage in comparison with TJ Watt

Diontae Johnson’s “hold-in” with the Steelers doesn’t include the identical leverage as TJ Watt’s did in 2021. He might want to revisit negotiation in 2023.

Diontae Johnson was a restricted participant at Steelers follow yesterday, and for a cause that followers are all too conversant in. Johnson and the Steelers are at a stand-still with reference to a possible contract extension, and now the Steelers’ main receiver from final season is taking a well-recognized “hold-in” method to the early days of coaching camp. His state of affairs, nevertheless, is drastically totally different from TJ Watt’s, who did the identical factor final offseason.

None of what’s to return forward right here is to slight Diontae Johnson. He’s coming off of a Professional Bowl season with over 1,200 yards from scrimmage and 9 touchdowns. He is because of ink his second contract subsequent offseason, and whereas he’s deserving of a a pleasant elevate over his rookie deal that displays his place available in the market, he’s in no place to be pressuring the Steelers. Though the historic nature of the 2022 offseason was performed to the tune of wideouts signing behemoth contracts throughout the league, any individual — a company — has to take a stand in opposition to unfounded calls for. Pittsburgh’s state of affairs with Diontae Johnson is primed to gradual these calls for within the nation’s eye.

Diontae Johnson is not at all in the identical place as TJ Watt, and the Steelers have each proper to make him take part in coaching camp.

Typically instances, the traces between good and nice gamers within the free company market are blurred by a participant being grossly overpaid. The distinction that eternally stays between these gamers heading into free company, nevertheless, is the stat sheet. Leverage, within the type of a hold-out — or on this case, a “hold-in” — is reserved for the nice gamers completely.

Within the occasion of TJ Watt, a participant whose fifth-year possibility was exercised by the group, the greatness was unavoidably apparent and demanded monetary acknowledgment. Watt performed at a reduction relative to his manufacturing over his first 5 years. 4 consecutive Professional Bowls, three consecutive first-team All-Professional choices, a Defensive Participant of the 12 months, and 72 sacks got here on his rookie contract. That participant will get to flex his place forward of a contract 12 months. Diontae Johnson merely has to complete paying his dues.

The Steelers don’t owe Johnson something till 2023, and they’re going to demand that he take part in follow and fulfill his contract. If he declines to take action, it can harm him way over it can harm the group.