Trade Proposal Sends Chiefs a 27-Year-Old WR in Exchange for 2 Draft Picks

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson.

Though the Kansas City Chiefs can add to their wide receiver room via free agency and/or the draft, trading for a receiver is also an option.

That’s why Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport has put together a trade package that he believes will help the Chiefs acquire Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Diontae Johnson.

**Diontae Johnson was traded to the Carolina Panthers on March 12**

In an article in which Davenport breaks down the top NFL trade packages for Johnson, Davenport has the two-time defending Super Bowl champions sending a 2024 third-round pick and fifth-round pick to the Steelers in exchange for Johnson and a 2024 sixth-round pick.

“Trading for Johnson would enable the Chiefs to potentially pivot with the 32nd pick, addressing needs in the trenches on both sides of the ball,” Davenport wrote on March 9. “Given that Kansas City is about as ‘win now’ as a team can get, Veach might be willing to offer up the 95th pick in order to land a proven commodity at receiver. Johnson would all but certainly jump at the chance to play with Patrick Mahomes.”

Diontae Johnson in Need of Fresh Start

Johnson, 27, entered the NFL as a third-round pick — 66th overall — of the Steelers in 2019 out of Toledo.

Standing at 5-foot-10 and weighing 183 pounds, Johnson doesn’t beat NFL cornerbacks with physicality. However, his great footwork, acceleration, and shiftiness trump his size and speed (ran a 4.53 40-yard dash to the NFL Scouting Combine) to help him get open regularly.

Johnson’s best season to date was in 2021, which was also quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s final season in Pittsburgh. During that season, Johnson recorded career-highs in targets (166), catches (107), receiving yards (1,161), and touchdowns (8), per PFF.

The departure of Roethlisberger in 2022 and the arrival of quarterbacks Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky along with receiver George Pickens took a toll on Johnson’s production.

After catching 86 passes for 882 yards during the 2022 season, Johnson’s 2023 campaign included some of his lowest single-season total since his rookie season (51 catches, 717 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns).

Inconsistent QB play as well as poor play-calling by offensive coordinator Matt Canada (who was fired in-season) left Johnson frustrated, which impacted his play on the field during the 2023 season.

The Steelers did recently sign QB Russell Wilson and also hired Arthur Smith to be their offensive coordinator. But there’s still uncertainty as to how Pittsburgh’s offense will operate moving forward.

Steelers ‘Open’ To Trade Offers For Diontae Johnson: Report

The reason for hypothetical trade packages involving Johnson isn’t just because of his diminished role in Pittsburgh. It’s also because, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini on March 9, the Steelers “are open to listening to trade offers” for Johnson.

Johnson has one year remaining on his two-year, $36 million deal. According to Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap, Johnson’s cap hit will be $10 million if he’s traded before his roster bonus is earned, which is on March 16. If Johnson is traded after March 16, he will have a $7 million cap hit.

If the Chiefs want to trade for Johnson, they will need to clear up some cap space first, however. Per OTC, Kansas City is currently $5.6 million over the cap (which includes Chris Jones’ five-year deal).

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