3 more Steelers who won’t be back after Diontae Johnson trade

Wide receiver Diontae Johnson isn't the only Pittsburgh Steeler who won't return to the team in 2024.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers traded wide receiver Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers.

Johnson was entering the final year of his contract, so the Steelers shipped him to Carolina to serve as 2023 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young’s top pass-catcher. They netted a starting-caliber cornerback in Donte Jackson as Pittsburgh looks to establish a new offensive identity under coordinator Arthur Smith.

With Johnson now out of the picture, here are three additional players who are sure to follow suit and won’t be back with the Steelers in 2024 as head coach Mike Tomlin pursues his 18th consecutive winning season.

3. Levi Wallace

The acquisition of Donte Jackson opens the door for the Steelers to allow Levi Wallace to hit the open market, which seems inevitable at this point considering Pittsburgh’s newest addition to the secondary will likely be starting opposite budding young cornerback Joey Porter Jr.

Wallace joined the Steelers in 2022 after he showed flashes of potential in his four seasons with the Buffalo Bills, but has struggled to replicate the success in Pittsburgh. In 2023, he operated as a part-time player, logging 69 percent of the team’s defensive snaps for 38 combined tackles, 11 pass deflections, and two interceptions earning a 60.6 PFF grade in pass coverage. Even in a limited role, Wallaced allowed 569 passing yards and six touchdowns in coverage.

The on-field struggles combined with Jackson’s arrival make Wallace expendable as the Steelers enter the new league year. Moreover, the team has reportedly expressed interest in Kansas City Chiefs shutdown cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, further suggesting that Pittsburgh isn’t happy with their secondary group from last season. 

All things considered, it would be shocking to see Wallace back with the Steelers in 2024.