Reported trade request from Steelers’ former WR Diontae Johnson called false by Mike Tomlin

Following the trade of former Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl WR Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers, many pondered, and others even reported that it may have been Johnson who asked for his way out of town.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson owns up for effort on fumble vs. Bengals: 'It  won't happen again'

Part of that thinking was because of what the Steelers fetched in return for Johnson.

But according to Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh got exactly what they wanted:

No Trade Reqested

After denying that Johnson wanted to be traded, Coach Tomlin added:

“Really, it was simple, man,” Tomlin told reporters at the league owners’ meetings earlier this week. “We traded player for player. We had an opportunity to get D-Jack (recently acquired CB Donte Jackson). D-Jack is a guy that we’ve evaluated probably several times since he’s been in the league, when he came out of LSU, when he faced free agency. We needed some assistance in depth and quality players at that position, so we made the move. They needed Diontae, we needed D-Jack. It was a good exchange.”

The discourse on whether or not the Steelers won or lost the trade strongly favored the latter from both supporters and opposers of the Steelers.

And I see why Pittsburgh made the deal.

But anytime you offload a Pro Bowler who has been both productive and durable for the majority of his career in exchange for a player that hasn’t exactly done either, it’s likely to draw criticism.

And look, whether Johnson requested a trade or not is all water under the bridge. His actions showed he was looking for a fresh start, even if his words said otherwise.

So gaining a player at a position of need in return for one that had become a “headache” is better than nothing.

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