Diontae Johnson’s “hold-in” at training camp likely will end Thursday.
Johnson and the Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to a three-year contract that includes an extension worth $36.71 million, a source confirmed to the Tribune-Review.
Factoring in Johnson’s salary for 2022, the deal is worth as much as $39.5 million over the next three seasons. He can become a free agent after the 2024 eason.
According to the NFL Network and ESPN reports, the deal includes $27 million in guarantees.
Johnson became the latest wide receiver from the 2019 draft class to get an extension. In the past week, the Seattle Seahawks gave D.K. Metcalf a three-year deal worth $72 million that included $58.2 million guaranteed. The San Francisco 49ers then gave Deebo Samuel a three-year, $73.5 million deal that included $58.1 million.
Until he agreed to the extension, Johnson had the 16th highest cap hit on the Steelers roster. That is one reason the fourth-year wide receiver took his “hold-in” stance toward practice participation and was not involved in team portions of practice since training camp began July 26.
General manager Omar Khan said Monday that the Steelers had started negotiations with Johnson’s representatives. Khan now has signed safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, kicker Chris Boswell and Johnson to contract extensions since becoming general manager in May.
“We want Diontae,” Khan said Monday. “We’re excited to have Diontae as part of this team, and we hope he is part of this team for a long time.”
Johnson is coming off his most productive season. In 2021, he totaled 107 catches for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns. He tied for the fifth-most catches in the NFL and had the 10th-most yards.
The $27 million in guaranteed money ranks No. 27 among all receivers. His average salary of $18.355 million as part of the extension makes Johnson the No. 17 highest-paid receiver in the league.