left Pittsburgh once, and he didn’t want to do it again. And the veteran tight end didn’t have to, as the Steelers signed him on the first day of free agency to a two-year deal.
Johnson was originally drafted by the Steelers, left via free agency, and returned in 2016, signing a one-year deal. He knew coming back to Pittsburgh was the best thing for him, and he didn’t want to leave this time around.
“I always considered myself a Steeler,” said Johnson. “I never wanted to leave. I hope I can finish my career here.
“It’s a special place. It’s always been like home to me, being with the coaches, the guys, the organization. It’s a great place to be. The only place I want to play.”
The Steelers selected Johnson in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played four seasons with the Steelers, but signed with the San Diego Chargers as an unrestricted free agent and spent the 2014-15 seasons there.
Johnson has played in 98 regular season games, and has 31 receptions for 304 yards with one touchdown. He was a key blocker for the Steelers’ ground game last year, and gives the Steelers proven depth.
“We have a strong group,” said Johnson of the tight unit that also includes Jesse James
, Ladarius Green
and Xavier Grimble
. “We all have our own different strengths. I think we displayed that well as a group last year and helped team win games.”