Cameron Johnston

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/12/24

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Texans Activate T Tytus Howard, P Cameron Johnston

After designating the two players to return from injured reserve this week, the Texans have announced that they have officially activated offensive tackle Tytus Howard and punter Cameron Johnston from IR. After starting the regular season on the injured list, both players are reportedly ready to make their 2023 debut.

Howard missed the first four games of the season due to a training camp hand injury that required surgery to fix breaks in two places. He’s been a full-time starter for Houston since getting drafted in the first round in 2019, missing games here and there due to various injuries. To date, he’s started in 54 of a possible 70 games. He’ll look to step in for George Fant across from Laremy Tunsil this week.

Johnston likewise has missed time due to a preseason injury after pulling a calf muscle in late-August. Ty Zentner, an undrafted rookie out of Kansas State, had been fulfilling the punting duties in Johnston’s absence before being waived early in the week.

Additionally, the Texans announced that they have released defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth from their practice squad. The move was necessary after the team released defensive end Derek Rivers from the active roster yesterday and signed him to the practice squad.

Finally, with this weekend’s contest in Atlanta coming up, the team announced that they will be calling up cornerback D’Angelo Ross and linebacker Garret Wallow as standard gameday elevations from the practice squad for tomorrow. Ross will be seeing his first action since making an appearance in the 2021-22 playoffs for the Patriots. This will also be Wallow’s first game of the season, as well, after starting five games over his first two years in the league.

Texans Designate Cameron Johnston For Return; Tytus Howard Moving Toward Debut

Texans punter normalcy looks likely to return this week. On IR for the season’s first four games, Cameron Johnston is on track to come back for Week 5.

Houston waived its replacement punter, Ty Zentner, on Monday, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson reports. With no punters on the active roster or practice squad as a result of this transaction, the Texans are also designating Johnston to return from IR. Johnston’s return to practice will start his 21-day activation clock, but Monday’s other Houston punter transaction points to a quick ramp-up period coming.

A calf injury has sidelined Johnston, who has been the Texans’ primary punter since 2021. The ex-Eagles specialist is tied to a three-year, $8MM deal. This will be Johnston’s sixth year as an NFL punter. The 31-year-old Australian had never missed a game during his career prior to this calf injury.

Johnston averaged 48.1 yards per punt last season. A Kansas State alum, Zentner sits at 42.1 through four games. The Texans signed Zentner as Johnston insurance in late August. The rookie UDFA, who also came to Houston after a Philadelphia stint, will become a free agent if he goes unclaimed.

Houston will be preparing to use some of its eight allotted IR activations early. Right tackle Tytus Howard is on track to be activated from IR this week, Wilson adds. Howard broke his hand in two places and underwent surgery in August. The Texans have played without four starting O-linemen at points this season, with Laremy Tunsil missing extensive time as well. The NFL’s O-line salary kingpin has a chance to return this week, per Wilson.

The Texans, who placed 2022 first-round guard Kenyon Green on season-ending IR in August, have both Howard and second-round pick Juice Scruggs on short-term IR. The team’s projected center starter, Scruggs is out with a hamstring injury. He is tracking toward returning by Week 6, however. But the Texans could soon have both their tackles back to project promising rookie C.J. Stroud.

Texans Place C Juice Scruggs, P Cameron Johnston On IR

The Texans are now guaranteed to start the season without two starting offensive linemen. After suffering a hamstring strain in the preseason, second-round rookie Juice Scruggs landed on IR.

In place as Houston’s starting center, Scruggs will now miss at least four games. He joins Kenyon Green in being moved off the active roster due to injury. Green, the first guard chosen in 2022, is on season-ending IR due to multiple injuries. The Texans also placed punter Cameron Johnston on IR on Thursday. Like Scruggs, Johnston will be shut down for at least a month.

A calf injury will send Johnston to IR. The Texans signed punter Ty Zentner as an insurance option last week. These moves will allow the team to re-sign linebacker Cory Littleton and running back Mike Boone. Zentner resides on Houston’s practice squad, but this Johnston news could soon lead to a promotion. The Eagles signed Zentner as a UDFA in May but waived him earlier this month.

A Scruggs IR stint emerged as a possibility earlier this week, as matters have worsened for Houston’s O-line. The team is not certain to have right tackle Tytus Howard in the lineup. A hand injury has sidelined the recently extended blocker for weeks. Scott Quessenberry, who re-signed after serving as the Texans’ starting center for most of last season, sustained a season-ending injury weeks ago. Houston has since traded for Josh Jones and Kendrick Green, with recent free agency addition George Fant in place as Howard’s RT backup.

Laremy Tunsil and Shaq Mason are the only locks among Houston’s first-team O-linemen to be in uniform in Week 1 against the Ravens. For additional depth purposes, the Texans also brought back interior O-lineman Michael Deiter — a March signee who did not make the team — on a practice squad deal and added recent Bears O-line castoff Dieter Eiselen to their taxi squad.

Johnston has been with the Texans for the past two seasons, coming over after the Eagles waived him. The veteran punter is going into the final season of a three-year, $8MM deal. Philadelphia’s punter from 2018-20, Johnston had previously never missed a game as a pro.

Contract Details: Watt, Rams, Texans

With teams preparing their cap sheets for the start of the NFL season, we’ve seen a number of front offices rework some contracts. We’ve compiled some of the recent contract maneuverings (as well as some details on recent signings and extension) below:

  • T.J. Watt, LB (Steelers): restructured contract yesterday, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The move opened $6.75MM in space for Pittsburgh. Watt inked a four-year deal worth up to $112MM (including $80MM guaranteed) last September.
  • Rob Havenstein, OT (Rams): three-year extension. The deal is worth $34.5MM, according to Rapoport (on Twitter). The extension includes $24.1MM guaranteed and offers $6MM in incentives.
  • Tyler Higbee, TE (Rams): restructured contract earlier this week, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter). The team converted $4.75MM of Higbee’s base salary into a signing bonus, creating $3.8MM in space.
  • Jalen Thompson, S (Cardinals): three-year extension. The $40MM deal includes $24.5MM in guaranteed money and a $10MM signing bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of (on Twitter).
  • Lane Johnson, OT and Jake Elliott, K (Eagles): restructured contracts today, according to Yates (on Twitter). The Eagles converted $5.88MM of Johnson’s base salary and $2.715MM of Elliot’s base salary into signing bonuses, creating about $6.9MM in cap space.
  • O.J. Howard, TE (Texans): one-year deal. The contract is worth $1.035MM, according to Wilson (on Twitter). The tight end will receive $910K in offset from the $1.945MM guaranteed base salary he got from his previous deal with the Bills. When coupled with the $1.25MM signing bonus he got from Buffalo, Howard will earn a total of $3.25MM this year.
  • Eric Murray, S (Texans): restructured contract yesterday, per Yates (on Twitter). Specifically, the team converted $1.465MM of his contract into a signing bonus, opening $732.5K in cap space.
  • Ka’imi Fairbairn, K and Cameron Johnston, P (Texans): restructured contracts earlier this week, per Wilson (on Twitter). The two moves saved the Texans $2.1MM in cap savings.

Texans To Sign P Cam Johnston

The Texans have signed former Eagles punter Cameron Johnston, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Johnson’s three-year deal is worth $8MM in total and includes a $1MM signing bonus. 

[RELATED: Texans Sign WRs Donte Moncrief, Alex Erickson]

The Eagles opted against giving Johnston a restricted free agent tender this offseason, putting him on the open market this week. The first right of refusal tender would have cost just $2.133MM for the 2021 season. His new Texans deal tops that by a healthy margin on an average annual basis.

Johnston will replace fellow veteran Bryan Anger, who was released by the Texans on Thursday. He’ll look to rebound from a rough year — in 2020, he posted a career-low 41.2 net-yard average. The Eagles could now turn to future/reserve signee Arryn Siposs as his replacement.

Eagles Won’t Tender P Cameron Johnston

We’re going to see a lot of tough decisions being made over the next week, and the Eagles in particular have their hands tied due to a terrible cap situation. Because of their cap issues, Philly isn’t tendering restricted free agent punter Cameron Johnston, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s a busy day for punters, as this news comes on the heels of the Saints releasing Thomas Morstead.

Johnston will now become an unrestricted free agent that’s free to sign anywhere without the Eagles having the chance to match an offer sheet. Rapoport says that Johnston “should have an active market.” A native of Australia, Johnston came to the United States to go to school at Ohio State after failing to make it as an Aussie Football player.

After getting cut in 2017 he made the roster in 2018, and has been the Eagles’ punter in each of the past three seasons. This move doesn’t mean that Philadelphia won’t still end up bringing him back for 2021, Eliot Shorr-Parks of tweets.

The Eagles can get their cap space under control and then re-sign Johnston, although now they’ll have to bid against an open market. Johnston has been very solid but not spectacular, so it’s not like he’s going to land an eye-popping deal in a tight free agent market.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/12/20

Today’s restricted free agent and exclusive rights free agent tender decisions will be posted below:





Eagles Notes: Brandon Graham, Alshon Jeffrey, Johnston

While defensive end Brandon Graham is set to be a free agent at the end of the year, it doesn’t appear the Eagles are in any rush to lock him up, writes Eliot Shorr-Parks of Shorr-Parks thinks it’s “unlikely that Graham gets a new deal before the season.” He adds that the ankle injury Graham is currently recovering from may play into the team’s reluctance to get something done this offseason.

Graham has been with the Eagles since he was drafted in the first round by the team back in 2010. Since then, he’s racked up 38.5 sacks, including 9.5 last season. He notably strip sacked Tom Brady in this year’s Super Bowl to help seal the Eagles’ win. Despite his Super Bowl heroics, Shorr-Parks say “all indications still point to Graham becoming a free agent next offseason” rather than receiving an extension.

Here’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Speaking of Graham, his status for week one remains unclear, according to Shorr-Parks. He had ankle surgery in April and is “still walking in a boot and using crutches to get around.” Teammate Alshon Jeffery, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, “seems to be a much safer bet to play in Week 1” writes Shorr-Parks, who adds “all indications are that he will be ready.”
  • The Eagles moved on from punter Donnie Jones this offseason and replaced him with second-year player Cameron Johnston. While the Eagles are happy with Johnston, who hasn’t attempted a regular season punt in his career, Shorr-Parks thinks it “wouldn’t be surprising” if the Eagles had a veteran punter on standby that they could sign in case Johnston falters this preseason.
  • In case you missed it, the Eagles have reportedly been impressed with backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld this offseason.


Eagles Reach 53-Man Limit

The Eagles dropped 17 players from the roster on Saturday in order to make the 53-man max:

Gerry was a fifth-round pick of the Eagles, so it’s a surprise to see that he did not make the cut. Then again, he had the tough task of converting from safety to linebacker this offseason, so the transition could take a little longer. He could be a candidate for the Eagles’ practice squad.