The Titans have made a depth addition to their defensive front. Tennessee has agreed to a deal with veteran defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson, per KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson (Twitter link).
The 28-year-old spent the first four years of his career with the Vikings, seeing a larger workload with each passing season. His best year in the pass rushing department came in 2019, when he registered 3.5 sacks in a rotational role. That earned him added playing time the following year, one in which he started all 16 games and logged a snap share of 61%.
Johnson has bounced around the league since then, however. He signed with the Texans in 2021, the most recent campaign in which he remained with one franchise for the full season. The former fourth-rounder made 12 appearances in Houston, but no starts, while seeing the field for 40% of defensive snaps. He followed that up by signing with the Saints last April; despite the being his second contract with New Orleans, though, he never saw any game time with them.
The Iowa alum split his time between the Falcons and Texans in 2022, making 15 tackles in nine combined appearances. Johnson will look to earn a more consistent workload in Tennessee, and in doing so set himself up for another contract next offseason while helping his new team remain dominant in its run defense.
The Titans led the league in yards allowed per game on the ground in 2022 (76.8). Much of that success came from their defensive front, a unit which is led by two-time Pro Bowler Jeffery Simmons. The 6-3, 316-pound Johnson will seek a role allowing him to see time alongside Simmons as a nose tackle. Tennessee’s other options in that capacity include the likes of Teair Tart, Naquan Jones and Tyler Shelvin. Johnson will aim to carve out at least some rotational playing time amongst them on what should once again be a strong Titans D-line.