Kaboly: Diontae Johnson ‘unhappy’ with contract situation, ‘trying to send message’ in his absence

Kaboly: Diontae Johnson ‘unhappy’ with contract situation, ‘trying to send message’ in his absence

The Pittsburgh Steelers just introduced their new general manager yesterday. We’re just days away from an all-new era at quarterback, with Mitch Trubisky and first-round rookie Kenny Pickett looking to earn the right to succeed Ben Roethlisberger.

And what we’re talking about is a fourth-year catcher who isn’t present during voluntary practices. That would be Diontae Johnson, who, while now the longest-serving wide receiver (and among the longest-serving in the entire offense), was never seen or seen as a leader, nor gave any indication that he intended to do so.

But many choose to focus on his decision not to show up for voluntary OTAs, which is not at all uncommon for veteran players and players who are in the middle of a contract dispute. The Baltimore Ravens are currently without former MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson, as a notable example.

According to The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly, Johnson “is unhappy with his current contract situation and is trying to send a message through his lack of presence”, which is basically what everyone assumed. The fourth-year wide receiver just sat back and watched wide receivers of similar pedigree cash in on huge contracts this offseason that now cross the $20 million per year mark.

“It’s something to talk about, but no one cares if Johnson is here for the OTAs, and it won’t affect his game one way or another,” Kaboly wrote. which is essentially true. While this will cause a stir in some circles, it will be completely irrelevant whenever real football is played. And, again, Johnson never offered any illusions that he was a commander. In fact, he said the exact opposite.

“I just let my game do the talking. I’m not a vocal leader, so I’m not going to act like I am,” he said in December last year, which is about as recent as you go. have right now. “I just like to go out there and play games and do my routine. If anyone wants to work with me more, go ahead. Other than that, I just try to play.”

A Pro Bowler in 2021 after recording his first season of 100 receptions and 1,000 yards, Johnson certainly has plenty of talent, but not every talented player who is a major contributor has to take on a leadership role. The Steelers have had recent All-Pro players like Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell who few would confuse as leaders — not to compare Johnson, positively or negatively, on or off the court, to those aforementioned.

Some may not be happy with the idea of ​​a player like Johnson refusing to take on a leadership role, but worse, I think, is a leadership role thrust upon someone who is not truly a leader. Just because Johnson is one of the older players on offense doesn’t mean he has to command a presence with his words.

Additionally, the Steelers are already beginning to build a leadership coalition with the likes of Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, James Daniels, Mason Cole and quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett. Whoever wins this starting job will be able to attract attention. Led the leaders lead, and the players play.

Johnson is a player and he will do his job in September. His job is not to be in Pittsburgh right now. He trains alone, does what he thinks he has to do to be ready for the season, like he did last year.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.