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Steelers WR Diontae Johnson Linked to Bills as Possible Trade



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

With rumors flying that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson is on the trade block, Marcus Mosher of the 33rd Team linked the Buffalo Bills as a realistic trade partner.

“One receiver who could be available is Diontae Johnson, who is in the final year of his deal in Pittsburgh. It’s unlikely the Pittsburgh Steelers will give him another extension, especially with George Pickens eligible for a deal in 2025. Johnson is one of the NFL’s best separators and would make a lot of sense with Josh Allen,” Mosher wrote.

“Like (Stefon) Diggs, Johnson can win on the outside vs. 1-on-1 coverage, giving Allen another target reliable passing game target. Johnson’s base salary is only $7 million, which makes him very attractive for the Bills. They might have to surrender a third- or fourth-round pick to acquire him, but that’s not much for a proven receiver.”

Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda thinks the Steelers would want a third-round pick if they deal Johnson. Pauline sparked the rumor at the NFL Combine that Johnson could be on the trade block.

“Is Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson on the trading block? The short answer is possibly, if the price is right.” Pauline wrote. “… While it’s not fair to say Johnson is on the trading block, several people tell me the Steelers are open to moving the receiver if they receive fair compensation.”

Mosher noted that the Bills are in need of a wide receiver with Gabe Davis and Stefon Diggs’ future in doubt.

“The Buffalo Bills’ wide receiver corps is currently in flux. Gabe Davis is an unrestricted free agent and is expected to leave this month. There are rumblings that Stefon Diggs is unhappy, and his production took a massive hit in the second half of last season,” Mosher wrote.

“The Bills would love to add to their offense this offseason, but their defense has just as many needs. With limited draft capital and next to no cap space, filling all those positions will be difficult. That’s why a trade for a veteran receiver could make sense.”

Johnson is 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, but the Steelers might not be willing to bring him back after this season, so if they get offered the right deal, they might be willing to move him.

The most notable frustrating play this past season was against the Cincinnati Bengals when Jaylen Warren fumbled and instead of chasing after the ball, Johnson instead looked frustrated and watched. He addressed it in the locker room and said that everyone moved on.

The Steelers showed tons of interest in the top receivers at the NFL Combine, including Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze, leading to speculation about Johnson’s future. Odunze met with several teams at the combine, and one of them was the Steelers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Rapoport added that the Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams are potential trade up teams.