Steelers WR Diontae Johnson Sends Cryptic Message to Fans

Getty Diontae Johnson runs the ball.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 season ended sooner than they’d hoped, yet the fact they were in it until the end is impressive in itself.

Pittsburgh’s first season without Ben Roethlisberger had its ups and downs. Part of those ups and downs was wide receiver Diontae Johnson. He made some incredible catches, had some frustrating drops and failed to find the end zone for the first time in his pro career.

As the Steelers wrap a bow on 2022 and head into the offseason, Johnson took to Twitter to tease fans with a cryptic message.

Is Johnson alluding to his future in Pittsburgh or perhaps another move within the franchise? Nobody knows. Athletes love to keep fans guessing. We’re all waiting for the shoe to drop on Matt Canada‘s overdue firing. Perhaps that’s what he’s hinting at?

The fourth-year receiver has a unique perspective on Canada. He’s the only player in the receiver corp who’s had multiple seasons with the embattled offensive coordinator. And those two seasons have produced vastly different results.

With no professional experience at the position, Canada was promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator in Ben Roethlisberger’s final 2021 season. Even with Canada’s dink-and-dunk approach, from targets (169) to catches (107) to yards (1,161) and touchdowns (8), Johnson enjoyed a career-high season in all categories.

Not so much this season. Johnson’s had his lowest yardage output (882) since his rookie season (680) and five fewer touchdowns (0).

Is it the change from Roethlisberger to Kenny Pickett, playcalling or a combination? As he has for most of the season, Johnson vented his frustrations about the playcalling in his final media session of the season.

“There were times where we would see certain stuff out there that we would see, we just felt like certain stuff wasn’t going our way at times,” Johnson told Steelers media on January 9. “But at the end of the day, we can just do what the coaches tell us to do. We talk amongst each other about what we see out there, but like I said, certain things weren’t going our way. Certain playcalls, we just weren’t getting what we wanted to get the offense going. We could just only do what we’re told at the end of the day.”

Johnson could be referring to his future with the tweet — asking Steelers fans to “stay tuned” for an increase in production. After all, the contract that pays him $18.35 million per year on average to produce kicks in this coming season.

Who knows? I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned.

Steelers Sign 10 Players to Reserve/Future Contracts

While the 2022 season is officially over for the Pittsburgh Steelers, business keeps rolling. One of the first orders was preparing for the 2023 offseason with their 90-man roster.

On January 10, the Steelers announced deals with 10 players, most of whom were on their practice squad.

Pittsburgh signed the following players to reserve/future contracts: Wide receivers Cody White and Ja’Marcus Bradley, defensive backs Duke Dawson and Scott Nelson, offensive linemen William Dunkle and Ryan McCollum, linebacker Emeke Egbule, running back Jason Huntley and tight end Rodney Williams.

Future contracts are put in place for training camp players who don’t begin counting against a team’s roster limit until March. Most will be fighting for spots on the final 53-man roster and could ultimately wind up back on the practice squad.

A fan favorite, Master Teague III has also returned for his third stint in Pittsburgh. The undrafted rookie spent tenures during training camp and briefly in-season as Jaylen Warren suffered a hamstring injury.