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Panthers acquiring Steelers WR Diontae Johnson for CB Donte Jackson; teams swapping picks

Carolina has secured another weapon for Bryce Young.

The Panthers are acquiring wide receiver Diontae Johnson and a 2024 seventh-round pick (No. 240 overall) from the Steelers in exchange for cornerback Donte Jackson and 2024 sixth-round selection (No. 178 overall), NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday.

Johnson, a former-third round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, had been on the trade radar leading up to free agency even after leading Pittsburgh in receptions in two of the past three seasons.

The 27-year-old wideout has amassed 4,363 yards and 25 touchdowns during his five-year NFL tenure. Johnson's hands at times let him down, especially early in his career, but he has tantalizing skill at getting open in space and remains a reception machine with 391 career catches.

Overtaken by George Pickens in 2023 as the team's No. 1 target and beset by injuries that caused him to miss four games, Johnson had a career-low 51 receptions last season. He set a new career high in yards per reception, though, jumping from 11.5 in his rookie year to 14.1.

He has plenty of runway left in his career, and will next look to help lift Young after the quarterback's rocky rookie season, which included leading the league's worst-ranked passing offense.

Meanwhile, Johnson's departure means the Steelers have one less proven pass-catcher available for Russell Wilson's arrival, but their already-sturdy defense is getting a boost with the acquisition of Jackson.

A 2018 second-rounder, Jackson has manned the corner spot for Carolina in 80 games and brings 14 career interceptions to the Black and Gold. He joins Patrick Queen as Pittsburgh's biggest additions to the D so far this offseason.

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