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Diontae Johnson Reveals Reaction to Steelers Trading Him

Diontae Johnson speaks on the Pittsburgh Steelers trading him to the Carolina Panthers, and reveals a piece of information.

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Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson against the Buffalo Bills, Jan. 15, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson is starting anew in the NFL after the team traded him to the Carolina Panthers. But the move left Pittsburgh with a hole that they have not yet filled. Diontae Johnson talked with Panthers reporters this week about the move and said that the Steelers did not want to trade him to an AFC team, and Carolina is where they ended up settling.

“I guess they didn’t want to trade me nowhere in the AFC. I’m here now in the NFC. It is what it is. They did what they feel they had to was best on their part. I couldn’t really do nothing about that. So I’m gonna make plays with whatever team I was on or got traded to. I’m here in Carolina, so I’m here to work,” Johnson said.

Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network previously reported that Diontae Johnson had discussions with multiple teams, including the Kansas City Chiefs. However, Pittsburgh decided that trading Johnson within the conference would not be beneficial. Instead, they landed on Donte Jackson, who will start opposite Joey Porter Jr. this season. He is on a one-year contract worth $6 million.

Diontae Johnson Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson in a game against the Buffalo Bills on January 15, 2024 — Ed Thomson / Steelers Now

“He had permission, his agent did, to go seek a trade. They talked to a few teams. The Kansas City Chiefs, they had conversations with them at some point. But it didn’t seem like they’d trade him within the AFC to a contender, if possible. Sending him to the NFC to the Carolina Panthers, who have been looking to add receivers since last year,” Garafolo reported back in April.

To help replace Johnson, the team signed many wide receivers: Quez Watkins, Van Jefferson, and Scotty Miller. They also drafted Roman Wilson in the third round to try and help their cause but have remained steadfast in calling teams about wide receivers they could trade for this offseason. None of that has materialized into anything tangible, but the Steelers will hope they can get something done before the season commences.