Former second-round pick Austin Johnson isn’t in great standing with the Titans. The 43rd overall pick of the 2016 draft has struggled to make an impact and might not be long for the team.
The defensive lineman is going to be fighting for a roster spot in training camp, according to Jim Wyatt of the team’s official site. Wyatt does note that defensive coordinator Dean Pees had some praise for him earlier this offseason, but he won’t be guaranteed a spot because of his draft pedigree. Last season, Johnson played around 38 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in a rotational role.
In 16 games and nine starts, he finished with 22 tackles, one sack, and two passes defended. It was by far the most playing time he’s received in his young career. Heading into the final year of his rookie contract, Johnson is scheduled to make $1.8MM in 2019. Wyatt does note that his salary won’t be held against him, and Tennessee will only cut him if he gets beat out by someone better.
The Penn State product has been a disappointment in the pros, and Wyatt writes that he needs to get more “disruptive.” The Titans drafted Jeffery Simmons in the first round back in April, but fortunately for Johnson he’s expected to miss his entire rookie season. Still, that doesn’t mean he’s safe, and it sounds like there’s a good chance Johnson is looking for a new home this fall.
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