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#pounditSunday, June 26, 2022

Did Steelers WR respond to report about his contract?

Oct 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) runs after catching a fifty yard touchdown pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson is reportedly unhappy with his current contract and perhaps not so coincidentally, has been absent from OTAs.

That little tidbit found its way into the public spectrum courtesy of teammate Chase Claypool.

“I know Diontae is grinding no matter where he is,” Claypool said, via The Athletic. “I know a lot of people are looking into it, but I am not looking into it too much because he is perfecting his craft, and he is going to come ball out.”

Johnson is under no obligation to attend this portion of the offseason workout given its voluntary nature. However, coupled with the alleged contract demands, it’s led many to speculate about his future.

“I don’t think it is a big deal, but I know people will make it a big deal because people need clicks and stuff,” Claypool added. “It is not a big deal. We are going to get work in during the offseason.”

In reality, Johnson’s absence is sort of a big deal. It’s his way of attempting to gain leverage over the Steelers, who are notoriously difficult negotiators. And after getting wind of The Athletic’s piece, Johnson appeared to say a lot by saying very little in a lone Friday tweet.

The standoff between Johnson and the Steelers should end soon, however. Mandatory minicamp is just around the bend and if the wideout skips those three practices, he stands to lose $88,650 through fines. And given that his alleged frustrations are money-related, it’s a safe bet to assume he won’t risk being fined.

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