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

Diontae Johnson’s “hold-in” with the Steelers does not come with the identical leverage as TJ Watt’s did in 2021. He will want to revisit negotiation in 2023.

Diontae Johnson was a restricted participant at Steelers apply yesterday, and for a motive that followers are all too acquainted with. Johnson and the Steelers are at a stand-still with reference to a potential contract extension, and now the Steelers’ main receiver from final season is taking a acquainted “hold-in” strategy to the early days of coaching camp. His scenario, nevertheless, is drastically completely different from TJ Watt’s, who did the identical factor final offseason.

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

Diontae Johnson is under no circumstances in the identical place as TJ Watt, and the Steelers have each proper to make him take part in coaching camp.

Often instances, the strains 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 solely.

In the occasion of TJ Watt, a participant whose fifth-year choice was exercised by the crew, the greatness was unavoidably apparent and demanded monetary acknowledgment. Watt performed at a low cost relative to his manufacturing over his first 5 years. Four consecutive Pro Bowls, three consecutive first-team All-Pro choices, a Defensive Player of the Year, 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 end paying his dues.

The Steelers don’t owe Johnson something till 2023, and they’re going to demand that he take part in apply and fulfill his contract. If he declines to achieve this, it’ll damage him excess of it’ll damage the crew.

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