2022 NFL Training Camp: Players holding out/in for new contracts

Deebo Samuel trade ideas - Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images
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Diontae Johnson
Dec 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) carries the ball on an end around against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

NFL players holding out at camp: Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers

Johnson’s story reads the same as the aforementioned wide receivers. Johnson was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft and is entering the final year of his contract.

Johnson’s production has outplayed his current deal ($3,073,357) and he believes he is entitled to a more lucrative deal.

Johnson has stressed that he wants to be a Steeler long-term but needs the front office to do their part in making that happen;

"“I want to be here long term, but that’s up to them,” he said. “I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing.”"

Johnson is not completely “holding in” either as he is participating in certain aspects of camp but then resorting to the sidelines when he doesn’t believe he should be participating to a certain extent.

Johnson has paid attention to his fellow Steelers DE TJ Watt and S Minkah Fitzpatrick who both either “held in” or skipped offseason activities in order to obtain new high-paying deals;

"“I paid attention to Minkah’s situation and T.J.,” Johnson said, referring to Fitzpatrick skipping team drills this past spring. “They handled their situation how they handled it. I’m going to handle mine how I handle mine, and that’s how I’m going to go about it.”"

The Steelers need the situation with Johnson to be resolved sooner rather than later as they plan to roll out a new quarterback for the 2022 season either former Chicago Bear Mitch Trubisky or rookie Kenny Pickett.

The Steelers are not without other wideouts as Chase Claypool is ready to step up along with newcomers George Pickens and Calvin Austin but Johnson is the most skilled of the group.

This is one contract issue that should be one of the first to break so that Johnson can join “Mike T” and his teammates as soon as possible.

*Bears LB Roquan Smith was originally added to this list but then arrived at camp and went to the PUP list shortly after, status unknown.*