Trade: Pittsburgh Steelers sending WR Diontae Johnson to Carolina Panthers

Wide receiver Diontae Johnson’s time in Pittsburgh has come to an end after five seasons.

The Steelers have agreed to trade Johnson to the Carolina Panthers. Pittsburgh is sending Johnson and a seventh-round pick to Carolina. The Steelers will receive cornerback Donte Jackson and a sixth-round pick, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the trade.

Johnson is entering the final year of his contract that he signed in 2022.

Johnson was Pittsburgh’s primary target on the outside. He tallied 391 receptions, 4,363 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns in 77 career regular-season games in Pittsburgh. However, Johnson had streaks with inconsistency. He had gone 21 straight games without a touchdown catch during his Steelers tenure. The Steelers’ struggles at the quarterback position also contributed to some up-and-down performances from Johnson.

In Carolina, Johnson is set to get a fresh start with new Panthers head coach Dave Canales and 2023 No. 1 overall pick quarterback Bryce Young.

Diontae Johnson had 51 receptions for 717 yards and five touchdowns for the Steelers during the 2023 season.
Diontae Johnson had 51 receptions for 717 yards and five touchdowns for the Steelers during the 2023 season.

The Panthers entered this offseason in dire need of some new offensive weapons. Carolina ranked last in total offense, passing offense and were tied for last in the NFL in points per game in 2023. Veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen, 33, was the only Panthers player with more than 43 catches.

Johnson’s never had a season with below 51 receptions.

Jackson gives the Steelers some help in the secondary. Jackson’s been a primary starter at cornerback for Carolina since 2018. He has 303 tackles, 46 passes defended and 14 interceptions in 80 career games (76 starts). Jackson and Joey Porter Jr. are early candidates to start at cornerback for Pittsburgh.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Diontae Johnson traded by Pittsburgh Steelers to Carolina Panthers