Training camps are in full swing across the NFL, and naturally, followers have questions on their respective squads. That’s why Professional Soccer Community likes to open up the weekly mailbag each Friday to maintain you knowledgeable with NFL information, rumors, and evaluation.
NFL Information and Rumors Mailbag: Steelers, Giants, and extra
Ideas on Diontae Johnson’s new cope with the Steelers?
When the information broke round 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, I used to be a bit perplexed. Whereas Johnson and the Pittsburgh Steelers are resolving a “maintain in” state of affairs, the contract doesn’t make a ton of sense for Johnson, outdoors of fast satisfaction.
As PFN Insider Aaron Wilson has confirmed, Johnson and the Steelers will tack on two years and $36.71 million onto the ultimate 12 months of his rookie contract. He’ll obtain $19 million in Yr 1 of the extension, and $27 million in new cash is assured, in line with NFL Community’s Mike Garafolo.
What does this deal imply?
For one, Johnson will get again on the sphere, which is a win for the Steelers. He may also be making a comparatively reasonably priced wage over the following three years in comparison with the market that ballooned this offseason, which is one other win for the squad.
Whereas Johnson has just one 1,000-yard season beneath his belt, his trajectory has continued to rise all through his profession since being drafted within the third spherical in 2019. The Steelers know this, and that’s why investing in a surging expertise on a team-friendly deal made sense for them.
Johnson hasn’t reached top-10 standing simply but, however his worth to the Steelers is notable. He’s coming off a Professional Bowl marketing campaign the place he caught 107 passes for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns.
New Jacksonville Jaguars wideout Christian Kirk exploded the market in free company, however he’s by no means made a Professional Bowl, had a 1,000-yard season, or caught greater than 80 passes, not to mention been a top-two possibility in a passing assault.
And but, Johnson is vaguely making a bit extra yearly in new cash in comparison with Kirk, who signed a four-year, $72 million deal in March. Whereas Kirk had the leverage of the open market on his facet, Johnson had an expiring contract and a breakout 12 months on his.
Johnson clearly wished to money in now, which is comprehensible. Nonetheless, he in all probability was value extra per 12 months than he acquired from the Steelers, who personal his rights for 3 years.
Johnson was set to make $2.79 million this season. So, over the span of his reworked deal, he’ll make a mean of simply $13.16 million per 12 months. There are 26 wideouts paid extra on common yearly — 14 make over $20 million. Miami Dolphins wideout Tyreek Hill is averaging $30 million per season, which is bigger than the complete assured quantity given to Johnson on his new deal.
Positive, Johnson simply turned 26 final month, and he’ll get to check free company once more earlier than 30 with the market persevering with to bulge. However, as of proper now, his quarterbacks are Mitch Trubisky, a redemption-story passer on a two-year deal, and first-round rookie Kenny Pickett, who might be going to want the size of Johnson’s deal to succeed in his potential as a top-tier QB. There stands an opportunity that Johnson’s manufacturing is mitigated by his quarterback’s expertise and the emergence of fellow playmaker Chase Claypool.
Johnson is an ascending participant. The Steelers have a historical past of enjoying hardball with dynamic receivers as a result of their scouting division does an outstanding job changing them, however this simply appears to be a rushed deal on the participant facet. Johnson had a pair of franchise tags to leverage with no new contract, and now he’s principally making veteran No. 1 wideout minimal wage.
Right here’s hoping that Johnson can outperform final 12 months’s breakout over the following two years and pressure the Steelers to increase his deal once more in 2024. If not, this deal will look fairly tough down the street.
The place do you see Wan’Dale Robinson becoming into the Giants’ offense?
PFN has been to a few New York Giants exercises since Wan’Dale Robinson was chosen within the second spherical in April. Robinson was a standout in OTAs, and he made a few good performs throughout the Giants’ training camp practice on Monday.
Robinson has actually spectacular lateral quickness and the power to achieve yards after the catch. Operating seam and slant routes would look like his finest utilization and dealing the slot frequently may assist him benefit from his abilities. Robinson and Sterling Shepard may rotate on the Z and slot spots with Kenny Golladay on the X place. Finally, Robinson will take off because the No. 2 wideout within the offense.
At 5-foot-8 and 185 kilos, Robinson is a smaller participant, so it’s vital to not put him in hurt’s method too usually. Giants head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka are each actually inventive, so there’s a powerful likelihood that Robinson is used on gadget performs as nicely.
Are there any standout undrafted first-year gamers in any of the camps you’ve seen up to now?
That is an fascinating query as a result of I discovered myself pondering the identical factor within the automotive the opposite day. Whereas I’m used to masking the identical crew day in and time out and figuring out the under-the-radar gamers, I’ve solely been in a position to obtain glimpses of squads in each day visits up to now.
That stated, I’ve been to 2 Eagles training camp practices, and with every one, undrafted cornerback Mario Goodrich has made a move breakup.
The Eagles will in all probability preserve 5 – 6 cornerbacks, and Darius Slay, James Bradberry, and Avonte Maddox are locks for the 53-man roster. The crew additionally has promising children Zech McPhearson, Tay Gowan, Mac McCain, and Kary Vincent battling for jobs. So, Goodrich would wish to outperform not less than two members of that quartet to stay round.
Undrafted wideout Keshunn Abram had a few actually spectacular catches on Saturday at Jets training camp. Backup QB Joe Flacco made a spotlight toss to an out route by Abram, who was in a position to haul within the ball with a tippy-toe reception on the sideline. Abram has an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster with Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios, Corey Davis, and Denzel Mims in entrance of him and several other others vying for spots.
In my travels, these are the 2 undrafted rookies who’ve been in a position to catch my consideration, however clearly, it’s nonetheless early and there are many visits left on the calendar.