Connect with us

Steelers News

Report: Chiefs Were in Talks with Steelers to Trade for Diontae Johnson



Diontae Johnson Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson on the bench during a game against the Buffalo Bills. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Diontae Johnson is on his way to Carolina, but landing with the back-to-back Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs was a real possibility.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Steelers gave Johnson’s agent permission to seek a trade, and the Chiefs were one of the teams in the mix. Instead, the Steelers worked out a trade with the Panthers, dealing Diontae Johnson and a seventh-round pick in exchange for cornerback Donte Jackson and a sixth-round pick. Garofolo noted that the Steelers preferred trading Johnson to an NFC team rather than an AFC contender. 

“He had permission, his agent did… to seek a trade,” Garafolo said on NFL Total Access Tuesday night. “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 didn’t reveal how deep the trade talks between the Steelers and Chiefs were, but it definitely would have been interesting if Johnson landed with Kansas City. He’ll catch passes from second-year quarterback Bryce Young instead of three-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes. … What could have been.

Carolina was the worst team in the league in 2023, but they have made some solid free agent additions, along with bring Johnson aboard. Regardless, they’re still in a rebuild and years away from becoming contenders in the NFC. Johnson will give Young a legitimate receiver to throw to after having pretty much no weapons in his rookie campaign.

Johnson was entering the team’s final year of his two-year extension. He missed multiple weeks this past season with a hamstring injury but has become part of the reason for hope around the Steelers’ offense.The talent at the skill positions is all there. But Johnson’s game is marred with inconsistency but his route running skills is some of the best in the entire NFL. He is extremely hard to cover for any team.

I wouldn’t consider Johnson elite, but he is a talented receiver who creates separation on a consistent basis. He should be WR1 for Young in Carolina.