Buy or Sell: Diontae Johnson expansion should be a foreign priority

The regular season marks the culmination of an extensive investigation into who your team will be that year. By this point, you’ve gone through free agency, drafts, training camp, and pre-season. You feel satisfied in your decisions to the extent that you can create clarity without playing meaningful games. But there’s still a lot of uncertainty still there, whether at the start of the regular season or the end, and new points of uncertainty are constantly evolving over time.

That’s what I’ll cover in our Buy or Sell series. In each section, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh several arguments for buying it (i.e. you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (i.e. you disagree with it). it or assume it is false).

The range of topics will be purposefully expanded, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to the distant future. And since we all have a tendency to give opinions on things, I invite you to share your own opinion each morning on the topic of the day.

Subject statement: Expanding the wide collection of Diontae Johnson should be a top priority for the season.

Explanation: Aside from the occasional breakdown, Diontae Johnson is the closest the Steelers get to a reliable wide receiver. Matches like Sunday’s effort show you that he has the talent to be a true number one weapon, even as he continues to strive for consistency.


JuJu Smith-Schuster is leaving. James Washington is leaving — and really not much more at this point. Chase Claypool didn’t make the sophomore jump many expected. Diontae Johnson was once like that.

He has 59 receptions during the season despite missing a game, going 714 yards with four touchdowns. No other wide receiver has more than one receiver. And you can see that he’s still growing, now in his third season. He’s not at his peak.

Crucially, he cut back on mistakes. He only has one drop this year, or even zero, depending on the resources you want to use. He had an extremely nasty mess in extra time last week, but only after putting on a fantastic game that no one else in this squad has done. They need this guy, including the post-Ben Roethlisberger offense. The opener wins.


First of all, it’s too early to say what should be a priority, and an extension probably won’t happen until training camp anyway. There’s a lot that can happen between now and then that can change opinion. And they often let the basics do their bidding.

And there’s nothing wrong with letting him out of contract. If he is going to withdraw, then he will also withdraw cash. Let’s be honest, TJ Watt signs like he did this year whether he’s a free agent or not. He is guaranteed for three years. The point is, the Steelers pay the most to the right players whether or not they compete with other bidders. They will still have the bargaining card Chase Claypool, and they will certainly draft another wide collector, maybe even one in the first round, assuming no quarterbacks. He still hasn’t made the most dollars. Hell, Raven and Browns haven’t even signed their quarterback yet. Buy or Sell: Diontae Johnson expansion should be a foreign priority

James Brien

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