The Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot on their plate this offseason. First, the team has to figure out who will replace two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. The team also has three key wide receivers who become free agents. Another wideout who is still under contract appears interested in starting his negotiations early.
The Steelers typically don’t play hardball with players. They allowed Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell to walk away for nothing in return when the Pro Bowlers tried to talk tough with the franchise. The front office had no interest in their antics, especially given AB’s behavior off the field. “The Steeler Way” is as much a business modality as it is an ethical perspective.
As JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Ray-Ray McCloud look to test the waters of free agency, Diontae Johnson is already making huge demands. The numbers he’s throwing out are astronomical. Andrew Fillipponi of 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh reported what he’s heard.
“I had a very good source at the Super Bowl tell me that Diontae Johnson is looking for something in the neighborhood of a 5 year, $75 million deal.”
Steelers fans have become accustomed to the quarterback taking up a huge chunk of their salary cap space. With Roethlisberger out of the picture, the team has more financial flexibility. $15 million for a 1,000-yard wide receiver would be a bargain to some franchises.
We’ll see if the Steelers agree. The team is notoriously disciplined in their negotiations. Diontae Johnson is kicking around some major numbers. Time will tell if Pittsburgh thinks it’s worth it.
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