David Johnson Returns to the Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been short at tight end ever since veteran Heath Miller retired during the offseason, so they decided to sign a bunch of San Diego Chargers to replace him.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers have signed tight end David Johnson for his second stint with the team.
Johnson, a fullback/tight end hybrid known for his blocking but doesn’t catch many passes, spent his first four seasons with the Steelers (2009-13) before signing with the Chargers.
Johnson has just 24 career receptions, 22 of them coming during his time in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers drafted David Johnson in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL Draft, and Johnson worked in as a tight end/fullback. Steelers’ offensive coordinator Todd Haley wanted to convert David Johnson into a full time to fullback, but Johnson unfortunately tore his ACL during the 2012 preseason. In 2013 Johnson recovered, but injuries to Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth, along with the emergence of Will Johnson at fullback, forced Johnson to take the starting tight end role.
Of course, the Steelers signed another Chargers tight end in free agency with that part of the job in mind, with Ladarius Green coming in the early days of free agency. Unlike Johnson, Green will count against the compensatory pick formula.
As of know the Steelers depth chart at tight end looks like this: Ladarius Green is number one, followed by veteran Matt Spaeth, “rising sophomore” Jesse James holds down the third spot, while 2015 practice squad alumni Xavier Grimble is penciled in as the number 4 man. Undrafted rookie free agent Jay Rome also has a roster spot.
Competition tends to bring out the best, and the Steelers have given themselves a low-risk option to bolster their depth at tight end. Betting odds are that both Matt Spaeth and David John will have a hard time making the 53 man roster but until they are set, welcome back to Steelers Nation David Johnson!