Diontae Johnson Trade: Arizona Cardinals smart to pass on receiver

The Cardinals could have been a team to watch to get Diontae Johnson
Green Bay Packers v Pittsburgh Steelers
Green Bay Packers v Pittsburgh Steelers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The latest trade in the NFL involved a player who was mentioned as a possible addition to the Arizona Cardinals. Wide receiver Diontae Johnson has been traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Carolina Panthers, per Adam Schefter. The Steelers are acquiring cornerback Donte Jackson as well as swapping draft picks. With this move, the Panthers give quarterback Bryce Young another weapon, which is something he severely lacked last season and looks like a bust as of right now.

It was just a couple days ago where the Cardinals were talked about as a team that could look into trading for Johnson. Andrew Fillipponi from 93.7 The Fan out of Pittsburgh talked about how the Cardinals could make a trade, specifically a third round pick for Johnson to give quarterback Kyler Murray a weapon on the outside no matter what happens in the NFL draft.

At 27 years old, Johnson still has much to prove after dropping off in production the last two seasons. Since his 1,000+ receiving yard season in 2021, Johnson has yet to reach 900 receiving yards and has just 5 touchdowns in two years. Unless the Panthers are able to extend Johnson, he will only be in Carolina for one season going into a contract year of his two-year contract extension he received from the Steelers.

The Cardinals cannot be in the business of trading away draft picks unless it is for proven players that have had recent success. Getting someone like Tee Higgins is a better option rather than trading for Johnson as Higgins is looking to get out of Cincinnati and has better upside at this point as compared to Johnson. Maybe the Cardinals are not in the business for trading for a receiver, but trading away draft capital for Johnson would not have been the best move for Arizona.

This is not to say that Johnson isn't talented, but the Cardinals are going to need to really elevate the wide receiver room for 2024 if they are looking to compete within the NFC West.