Steelers WR Diontae Johnson to get over $1.6M pay raise in 2022 via PPE
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson will get a raise in 2022 thanks to Toledo’s former third-round draft pick qualifying for a performance-proven Escalator. Although we’ve known for some time that Johnson qualified for the escalator, we weren’t sure exactly what level he would reach. With the 2021 season now over, we now know the likely level and amount of the salary increase for Johnson.
In league ABC, the Proven Performance Escalator is now a non-negotiable three-tiered amount in which a player’s base salary in the fourth year of his rookie contract increases if he reaches certain predetermined thresholds. .
As the CBA notes, a player selected in the second through seventh rounds qualifies for Tier Two PPE if he plays in 55% of his team’s offensive or defensive plays in each of his first three regular seasons. As expected, Johnson easily hit those playing time percentages. in year 4 (less any signing bonus pro rata), plus $250,000. This amount is then added to the player’s base salary for the fourth year.
So what does this mean for Johnson? Well, his 2022 salary will now rise from the projected $1,078,767 to an initial restricted free agent tender, which is currently expected to be $2.433 million per Over the Cap, plus Another $250,000, for an estimated first total of $2.683 million. So a projected increase of $1,604,233 in 2022 for Johnson. Again, this extra raise also goes against the Steelers salary cap.
Johnson obviously wasn’t happy about failing the Pro Bowl this season. In fact, not making the Pro Bowl has cost him extra money in 2022.
With Johnson now set to get at least a meager raise, an even bigger raise could be in his future and he’ll likely be looking to sign a contract extension this offseason. He spoke of the possibility on Monday, a day after the Steelers lost in the playoffs to the Kanas City Chiefs.
“It would be a blessing to get an extension,” Johnson said. “Just all the hard work I’ve put in for the last three seasons now. But, like if I could get an extension, I’m going to be excited. I want to be in Pittsburgh, you know, for the rest of my career. But I’ll just see what happens now.
You would think that Johnson will be looking to get the money from the top 15 wide receivers, at a minimum, this offseason. Currently, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is the 15th highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL with a new money average of $15.75 million. Will the Steelers value Johnson at that $15.75 million or more in the offseason? We will see. If Johnson does eventually sign a contract extension in the offseason, chances are a done deal won’t happen until after the team reports to training camp.