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Ex-Steelers WR Diontae Johnson Reveals New Jersey Number

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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 will have a new jersey number in Carolina, ditching the No. 18 that he donned in Pittsburgh for No. 5 in Carolina. That is also different than the No. 3 that Johnson wore at Toledo and in high school.

Now, with a chance to work with Panthers quarterback Bryce Young, Johnson will work in a new system under head coach Dave Canales after the trade.

Johnson seemed less and less happy over the years in Pittsburgh. In 2022, he reportedly got into an altercation with the quarterback Mitch Trubisky at halftime of the team’s Week 4 loss to the New York Jets. Last season, Johnson got into it with Minkah Fitzpatrick after a game.

Johnson also wasn’t thrilled with Kenny Pickett being his quarterback. He publicly expressed that he hoped Mason Rudolph would be the starter going forward.

Diontae Johnson is a talented receiver and one of the best route runners in the league, but his antics were wearing thin with the Steelers, and they finally had enough.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stated in his online chat that Johnson’s influence on George Pickens played a significant role in the trade. Although, he mentioned that Johnson was leaving Pittsburgh “one way or the other.”

“That was a large part of it, though it seems comical to think someone is about Pickens being badly influenced,” Dulac wrote.

Regardless of how it ended, Johnson is one of the best route runners to play for the Steelers in recent memory. Losing him now leaves a void at WR2, which has yet to be replaced by the team, but it should be addressed in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. Pittsburgh has already shown interest in receivers up and down the board, so it would be of little surprise to see them take one early on in the class.

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Lifetime Steeler
Lifetime Steeler
March 31, 2024 9:17 pm

Johnson was great when he decided to play,but didn’t care for his non blocking abilities. Doesn’t fight for the ball or come back to it, if it’s not right on his route he’s not catching it. Not tackling on a turnover or chasing the runner against Cincy. The endzone dance still down 2 TDs against ARIZ. It’s a team sport no wonder opposing teams knew if we were running or passing just look at the WRs attitudes. On a run play time to take the play off