Steelers HC Mike Tomlin breaks silence on Diontae Johnson trade

Mike Tomlin spoke with reporters for the first time this offseason at the NFL’s Annual League Meeting and offered some clarity on the Diontae Johnson trade.

Given how Johnson acted during the 2023 season, it was presumed he wanted out of Pittsburgh, or the Steelers didn’t want him around anymore.

Instead, Tomlin claims it was more of a need for a player he’s had his eye on for some time.

“We traded player for player, we had an opportunity to get [CB Donte Jackson],” Tomlin said via ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. “He’s a guy that we’ve evaluated probably several times since he’s been in the league. … [The Panthers] needed Diontae, we needed D Jack. It was a good exchange.”

Unfortunately, the Steelers haven’t yet had success filling Johnson’s shoes. While there were rumors about a potential trade for San Fransisco 49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk or snagging free agent Tyler Boyd, there’s been no movement.

It’s still early, but Pittsburgh could very well go into the 2024 season with George Pickens as its top receiver.

Story originally appeared on Steelers Wire