Kevin Johnson

Contract Details: McCourty, Williams, Lewis

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts:

Bills To Sign Kevin Johnson

The Bills are expected to add free agent cornerback Kevin Johnson, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The deal is pending a “final review of the contract,” according to Rapoport, but it sounds like the key parts of the deal are in place.

Concussions limited Johnson to just one game last season with the Texans and his physical could be more than just a formality in Buffalo. But, if Johnson gets the medical greenlight, he could prove to be a strong value addition for the Bills.

The former first-round pick has missed 29 out of a possible 64 games over the last four seasons. But, with two quality cornerbacks in Tre’Davious White and Levi Wallace, Johnson could provide valuable support on the outside. Armed with $77MM+ in cap space, the Bills had the room to make the upgrade.

Jets, Panthers Eyeing Kevin Johnson

Cornerback Kevin Johnson will visit the Jets on Friday night, according to league source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Panthers, he adds, are also interested in the former Houston cornerback. 

[RELATED: Jets Tender Robby Anderson]

The Texans released Johnson earlier this week to escape the $9.069MM he was owed for 2019. That was a high price to pay after Johnson lost virtually all of the 2018 season to concussion issues, but plenty of other clubs have interest in him. Already, Johnson has met with the Bills and Browns.

Johnson, a 2015 first-round pick, has missed 29 out of a possible 64 games over the last four seasons. Still, he could profile as a low-risk, high-reward signing on an affordable one-year deal. For the Jets, he’d provide insurance behind Trumaine Johnson who sagged in his first year with the club.

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Browns To Meet With CB Kevin Johnson

Former Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson is a popular guy these days. After meeting with the Bills on Wednesday, he’ll head to the Browns for a visit later this week, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

The Browns can use some help in the secondary and are looking for a cornerback to put opposite of Denzel Ward. Many have speculated that the Browns could use their No. 17 pick to address their CB need, perhaps with LSU’s Greedy Williams, Georgia’s Deandre Baker, or Washington’s Byron Murphy. Instead, the Browns could sign a veteran like Johnson, though it would make sense to stopgap him with further depth given his injury history.

Last year, the Browns’ lack of depth hurt them in the secondary after Terrance Mitchell went down with a broken wrist and E.J. Gaines was unable to stay healthy. Wanting to avoid a repeat, the Browns will want to explore reserve corners in both free agency and the draft.

I think there’s a lot of depth in this class,” GM John Dorsey said recently when asked about this year’s rookie class on the whole. “I think the strength of it is in the depth of the class. I think there are some very talented individuals with some size and actual speed. That’s why I can’t wait to watch those guys run here [at the combine].”

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Bills Meet With CB Kevin Johnson

Cornerback Kevin Johnson will visit with the Bills on Wednesday, according to CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora (via Twitter). Johnson became a free agent earlier this week when the Texans released him from his contract. 

[RELATED: Bills Interested In TE Dwayne Allen]

Johnson, 27 in August, was due $9.069MM on his fifth-year option, which was guaranteed for injury only. His 2018 season was pretty much lost due to concussions, but the fact the Texans were able to release him is an indication that he is now healthy. The 2015 first-round pick is probably a candidate for a one-year prove-it deal to reestablish his value, whether it’s with the Bills or any other club.

The Bills have two starting cornerbacks in Tre’Davious White and Levi Wallace, but the Bills are looking into additional support. Armed with $77MM+ in cap space, the Bills should be able to make a veteran upgrade.

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Texans Release CB Kevin Johnson

The Texans have released former first-round cornerback Kevin Johnson, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). This was the expected move after the Texans shopped Johnson but were unable to find a suitable deal. 

Johnson, a talented corner, was due $9.069MM on his fifth-year option. The option was guaranteed for injury until the start of the league year next week, so it appears that Johnson has received a clean bill of health. He’ll now have an opportunity to shop his services before the start of free agency on March 13.

Johnson’s 2018 season was mostly lost due to concussions. In September, the Texans parked him on IR and he was unable to return.

Before the move, the Texans still had plenty of cap space with $80.9MM available. Their total, good for third-most in the league, inches up a bit after cutting Johnson. Some of that money will probably go towards fortifying a cornerback group that has clear issues: Johnathan Joseph will turn 35 this year,Aaron Colvin missed extensive time last season, and Shareece Wright is set for free agency next week.

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AFC Notes: Texans, Broncos, Jets, Bell

The Texans are expected to release cornerback Kevin Johnson, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes. As previously reported, the Texans have discussed trading Johnson, but it’s much more likely that he’ll be cut given his contract (due $9.1MM in 2019) and recent concussion issues (played only one game in 2018). Still, releasing Johnson will leave the Texans extra thin at cornerback, so the position figures to be a priority for them in March and April.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • The Broncos are expected to have interest in linebacker C.J. Mosley, according to Troy Renck of Denver7 (on Twitter). This week, we learned that the Ravens will not use the franchise tag on Mosley and the expectation is that he will be an unrestricted free agent later this month. Mosley, 27 in June, is a perennial Pro Bowler and anchored Baltimore’s linebacking corps for several years.
  • The Jets are expected to target second-tier running backs during free agency, according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com, which signals that Le’Veon Bell is not the team’s focus. The Jets could theoretically sign Bell, Pauline hears, but only if they do not come away with a big-time pass rusher. Speaking of the pass rush, the Jets have been connected to Dante Fowler, but people at the combine told Pauline that contract length may be a sticking point for Gang Green. Fowler probably wants something in the four-year range while the Jets are hesitant about such a commitment.
  • The Dolphins haven’t told Minkah Fitzpatrick whether they want him to play safety or cornerback in 2019, but they want him to be a safety in the long run, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald hears. He could get a head start on the safety plan this year, but that will depend on what happens with incumbents T.J. McDonald and Reshad Jones. Right now, it seems unlikely that the Dolphins would move on from either safety. Cutting McDonald would save only $1.4MM versus $4.6MM in dead money. Meanwhile, Jones is already guaranteed $11MM for 2019.

Texans Discussing Kevin Johnson Trade

The Texans are shopping Kevin Johnson at the Combine. In advance of his fifth-year option season, Johnson has become the subject of trade conversations this weekend, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Johnson, who played just one game last season due to a concussion, is due $9.1MM in 2019. Having dealt with other injuries in the past, Johnson is certainly a release candidate. He will have to pass a physical by March 17 for that to occur, however.

Houston has plenty of cap space ($80.9MM — third-most in the league) but has not seen Johnson live up to his draft slot. The Texans do not exactly feature a stable cornerback situation, though. Stalwart Johnathan Joseph will turn 35 this year, and Shareece Wright is a free agent. Aaron Colvin missed extensive time last season.

The No. 16 overall pick in 2015, Johnson has missed 29 games. If another team does not make a move to land him, on a cornerback market that isn’t especially strong, it appears likely the Texans would release him.

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Texans Designate Dylan Cole For IR Return

The first Texans IR-recall move will involve backup linebacker Dylan Cole. The team announced the second-year player will be designated to come off IR.

Cole dislocated his left wrist in Week 3, and could return for the Texans’ Dec. 2 game at the earliest. Houston has 21 days to activate him. If Cole is not activated by that time, he must spend the rest of the season on IR.

An undrafted defender out of Division I-FCS Missouri State, Cole played in 12 Texans games last season and started one. He intercepted two passes — returning one for a touchdown — and registered a sack to go along with 25 tackles. This season, Cole made nine stops in three games.

Houston still has another IR move to make, and ESPN.com’s Sarah Barshop points out (via Twitter) Kevin Johnson remains a possibility. The former first-rounder’s been on IR since Sept. 11 because of a concussion, so he’s eligible to return at any point. The fact that a brain injury has kept him out this long is obviously concerning, however.

Kayvon Webster, on IR with a quad injury, also could profile as an IR-return cog. Will Fuller and Seantrel Henderson are out for the season.

Texans Place CB Kevin Johnson On IR

The Texans have placed cornerback Kevin Johnson on injured reserve, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Houston head coach Bill O’Brien admitted on Monday that Johnson would likely miss time after suffering a concussion, with a return timeframe of four-to-six weeks as the likeliest outcome. With that in mind, the Texans moved Johnson to IR with the knowledge they can re-activate him after an eight-week absence.

Without Johnson in tow, the Texans are short on talent in their defensive secondary. Kareem Jackson moved to safety this offseason, leaving Aaron Colvin and 34-year-old Johnathan Joseph as the club’s starting corners. Free agent addition Kayvon Webster, luckily, is close to returning to action after suffering a torn Achilles in 2017.

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