Josh Johnson is back in the NFL….again. A week after working out for the New York Jets, the team today announced they are adding the veteran signal-caller to their quarterback room. A depth chart that features three players who have never thrown an NFL pass in BYU standout Zach Wilson, Mike White, and James Morgan.
Johnson, 35, was originally a fifth-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2008. Since then, he has played for 12 different NFL teams (17 different stints). Last year after starring in the XFL for the Los Angeles Wildcats, Johnson signed on with the San Francisco 49ers. He spent time on the Niners practice squad before being called up to start late in the season, but as luck would have it, Johnson would miss his opportunity when he was placed on the team’s COVID list.
The former four-time all-pioneer quarterback out of the University of San Diego has had quite the pro journey since he coming out of college. Johnson has played 33 games in the NFL with eight career starts. He has spent time in the United Football League; he was the first overall draft pick in the AAF QB Draft for the San Diego Fleet. In 2019, Josh Johnson signed an exclusive contract to play in the XFL. A deal that prohibited him from signing with an NFL team until their 2020 season ended.
In the fall of 2019, the Detroit Lions came calling for Johnson’s services, but his league-exclusive XFL contract prevented him from joining Detroit. Johnson signed the six-figure deal with the XFL because it presented him with an opportunity to start games and lead a team. A role that has eluded Johnson his entire career as a journeyman backup.
In the XFL with the Los Angeles Wildcats, Josh Johnson was named the highest-graded quarterback in the league by Pro Football Focus. Johnson, in four games, completed sixty percent of his passes for 1,076 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, and only two interceptions with a quarterback rating of 106.3.
In an age of uncertainty because of the pandemic. And as a result of their inexperience at quarterback. The New York Jets are safeguarding themselves by signing Josh Johnson. Not only does he provide Gang Green with a veteran presence in their locker room, but Johnson has knowledge and experience working in Mike LaFleur’s system in San Francisco.
The odds are against Josh Johnson making the Jets’ final roster when training camp ends, but it gives the green and white insurance. It’s within the realm of possibility that the Jets could keep Johnson on their practice squad when the season starts in September. Being ready at a moment’s notice has been Josh Johnson’s calling card throughout his career.
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