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Why Omar Khan Crushed It On Diontae Johnson Contract Extension

Before apply received underway Thursday, it was introduced that the Pittsburgh Steelers had signed huge receiver Diontae Johnson to a contract extension. Per preliminary experiences on the signing, Johnson agreed on a two-year, $36.71 million extension that might hold the WR beneath contract with Pittsburgh by means of the 2024 season. Johnson was on the books for $2,954,118 million in 2022, which means that he figures to make $39,664,118 over the subsequent three seasons ought to the preliminary numbers show to be correct.

Just two days prior, GM Omar Khan addressed the media and mentioned that he had been in conversations with Diontae’s representatives, stating that he wished Johnson “to be a Steeler for a long time”.  Khan made good on his phrase, ironing out a contract extension with the 2021 Pro Bowler practically 48 hours later.

Just a few issues stick out when trying on the deal as reported. First, the common yearly worth of the contract got here in notably decrease than what was anticipated. After fellow 2019 NFL Draftmates Terry McLaurin, A.J. Brown, D.Okay. Metcalf, and Deebo Samuel all signed extensions effectively over $20 million per yr, it was lengthy believed {that a} yearly take residence of $20 million can be absolutely the flooring for Johnson, with $21-22 million being a extra real looking quantity. Johnson signed for simply over $18 million per season, which is available in as a reduction from what Johnson was probably in search of.

Dave Bryan talked about in a latest version of The Terrible Podcast that he expects Johnson’s camp to provide a little bit if a deal is reached, and that simply so occurred to be the case. If you disperse the full amount of cash Johnson is due for on the brand new three-year pact at $39,664,118, the brand new cash common involves $18.355 million. Given the contracts the opposite WRs signed this offseason, the full quantity in addition to the brand new cash common proves to be an enormous win for Pittsburgh.

Another factor that stands out in regards to the contract is the size of the extension. Johnson and the Steelers agreed to a two-year extension, which is way shorter than what was anticipated. Samuel, McLaurin, and Metcalf agreed to three-year extensions with their respective franchises, whereas Brown received a four-year deal from the Eagles, making Johnson’s extension extra just like the one Hunter Renfrow agreed to this offseason, which was two years of latest cash for a complete of $31.7 million. From Johnson’s perspective, this permits him to get again into the market sooner as a free agent in 2025 earlier than his age 30 season.

However, this shorter deal additionally advantages the Steelers for a number of causes. First, it locks of their #1 possibility within the passing sport for 3 seasons. Second, it offers them time to judge the opposite younger choices they’ve within the room, together with Chase Claypool going into Year 3 in addition to rookies George Pickens and Calvin Austin III, to see if they’ll make the leap to develop into reputable threats within the passing assault and doubtlessly become #1 choices themselves. Third, it places Diontae Johnson in a prove-it state of affairs the place he has the chance to point out that he can proceed to supply at a Pro Bowl caliber stage with out Ben Roethlisberger because the crew’s beginning QB.

Johnson has proven enchancment every season since coming into the league in 2019 as a third-round draft decide, creating right into a nuanced route runner that turned Ben’s go-to goal within the passing sport the final two seasons. However, whereas Johnson was hyper-targeted by Ben with 313 targets the final two seasons, his effectivity on a per-target foundation hasn’t been nice given his function in a dink-and-dunk passing sport. With Roethlisberger now not beneath heart, Johnson might get the chance to be utilized extra down the sphere like he confirmed every so often the final couple years, but in addition should show that he can nonetheless be a dominant weapon within the passing sport with out Ben force-feeding him targets.

Overall, the contract extension is a win for Johnson who will get to place $19 million into his pocket in 2022, an enormous pay increase from the $2,954,118 million he was scheduled to make with the additional sport test. He additionally avoids enjoying the franchise tag sport, having to wager on himself and keep wholesome to money in at a later date. Still, the deal proves to be an enormous win for Khan and the Pittsburgh Steelers from a mean yearly worth standpoint in addition to a size standpoint. They don’t pay high greenback in an exploding WR market and get the chance to see if Johnson can show he deserves elite WR cash the subsequent three seasons whereas nonetheless giving their new beginning QB a dependable weapon they’ll goal early and sometimes this season.

What are your ideas on the Diontae Johnson contract extension? Do you suppose Khan and the Steelers did effectively within the construction of the deal? What is your reasoning? Please depart your ideas within the feedback part beneath and thanks once more for studying!

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