The Chargers have added another player to their defense. The team is signing defensive tackle Austin Johnson, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). It’s a two-year deal worth up to $14MM, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter).
Johnson had a breakout season for the Giants in 2021, setting career-highs across the board. In 17 starts, the defensive tackle collected 72 tackles, 3.5 sacks, six tackles for loss, and seven QB hits. Entering this season, Johnson had 54 tackles and 3.5 sacks in five seasons with the Titans and Giants.
A 2016 second-round pick, Johnson spent the first four seasons of his career with Tennessee. He joined the Giants organization in 2020.
The acquisitions of Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson will steal the headlines, but Johnson should find a role for himself on the Chargers defense. Justin Jones and Linval Joseph combined for 23 starts last season, but both players are hitting free agency. Even backup Christian Covington, who started three games in 2021, is a free agent.