PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers opened Organized Team Activities on Tuesday and a pair of regular starters in contract years were not in attendance. Defensive end Stephon Tuitt and wide receiver Diontae Johnson did not show up for the first voluntary team practices ahead of the 2022 season.
Veteran defensive lineman Cam Heyward said to assembled media on Tuesday he knows Tuitt is in his hometown of Indianapolis. Heyward added that he expects Tuitt to play for the Steelers this season.
"He’ll be here, sooner or later," Heyward said. "It’s really early. I’ve never had full attendance at OTAs and I don’t expect it. … I don’t look at who’s not here. Guys get work everywhere and I know guys are going to continue to work their tails off. All I ask is that guys come in in good shape."
Tuitt missed all of the 2021 regular season with a knee injury sustained in training camp. In addition to suffering an injury, Tuitt's brother died this offseason. Outgoing general manager Kevin Colbert said this offseason that the two sides had been talking with one another.
Tuitt stands to make $9,048,560 in salary this season, should he play. If not, that figure would not count against Pittsburgh's 2022 cap number, but they would still retain $4.755 million in dead money attached to Tuitt's name.
Johnson, who made the Pro Bowl last year after posting a team and career-high 1,161 yards and eight receiving touchdowns. His rookie contract expires at the end of this season and Johnson is likely seeking a richer contract, something on par with some of the top players at his position like Carolina's D.J. Moore, Cleveland's Amari Cooper and Tampa Bay's Keenan Allen, who all earn roughly $20 million annually. Johnson's estimated per year value on Spotrac is $88.3 million over four years - about $22.1 million per season.
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