The Saints have signed veteran defensive end George Johnson to a one-year extension, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Johnson was initially scheduled to reach free agency in March, but he’s now tied to New Orleans through the 2018 season, during which he’ll earn the veteran’s minimum, tweets Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune.
The Saints signed Johnson late last season when rookie defensive end Trey Hendrickson went down with an ankle injury. Initially, it didn’t seem like he’d be in line for a ton of playing time, but he made his presence felt with 2.5 sacks in the final three regular season games of the year. Then, in the playoffs, Johnson started both games at left defensive end.
Johnson, 30, made a name for himself with a six-sack season for the Lions in 2014. He couldn’t reprise that production in 2015 with the Bucs and he lost all of 2016 due to a hip fracture. Now, he may finally be back on track as a productive front four player.
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