Josh Johnson has once again landed a new deal with a familiar team. The journeyman quarterback is signing with the Ravens for a third time, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).
Johnson, 37, has been a member of an NFL-record 14 teams over the span of his career, also spending time in the UFL, AAF and XFL along the way. His previous stints in Baltimore came in 2016 and 2021; it was during the latter campaign that he made his only start as a Raven. Given the team’s current depth chart, it would come as a surprise if he were to see any game action this time around.
Baltimore has Lamar Jacksonon the books for the next five years after they brought his contract saga to an end earlier this offseason. That will allow the team to move forward with certainty at the top of the depth chart, but the former MVP has been sidelined to close out the season in each of the past two years. That leaves their backup and third-string options a point of interest.
The Ravens tendered restricted free agent Tyler Huntleyat the low-round level ($2.63MM). The former UDFA would have been able to head elsewhere on an offer sheet which would not have put Baltimore in line for compensation, but Huntley ultimately signed the one-year deal. The 25-year-old has made four starts in each of the past two regular seasons, and started the team’s wild-card loss to the Bengals in 2022.
Johnson – who began last season on the Broncos’ practice squad before signing with the 49ers amidst their quarterback injuries – will likely be competing for the third-string role in training camp. That spot currently belongs to Anthony Brown, a UDFA who made one start as a rookie last season. The Ravens also included one signal-caller (Nolan Henderson) in this year’s group of undrafted rookie signings. Johnson will look to outperform those two as a means of at least earning a spot on the Ravens’ practice squad.
8:30pm: With Garoppolo likely headed to injured reserve, the 49ers plan to sign veteran journeyman quarterbackJosh Johnson off of the Broncos’ practice squad, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. This will be Johnson’s fourth stint in San Francisco after spending the 2012 offseason with the 49ers, constantly being signed and released by the team throughout the 2014 season, and spending the 2020 season on San Francisco’s practice squad.
Johnson has been a member of more NFL teams than he has played years in the league, playing with 14 teams over 13 years. He signed with the Broncos at the beginning of this past offseason and was temporarily on the team’s active roster after an injury to starter Russell Wilson.
He last appeared in a game last season for the Ravens when he started in place of an injured Lamar Jackson and an absent Tyler Huntley, who had tested positive for COVID-19. The Ravens lost that game despite Johnson completing 28 of 40 pass attempts for 304 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite his three previous tenures with the organization, Johnson has never appeared in a game for the 49ers. That trend may continue as the rookie seventh-round pick, Purdy, showed he may have what it takes to pilot the 49ers offense. Johnson is likely being brought in for emergency backup duties only, considering Purdy has spent the entire season with 49ers.
Shanahan explained to reporters that Garoppolo actually suffered a broken foot, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, telling the media, “He’ll be out. He’ll need surgery. (He) broke a few things in there.”
Heaps of drama surrounded Garoppolo’s situation coming into the season as the veteran quarterback sought a departure from his team of the last six years. In the end, San Francisco decided to hold on to Garoppolo, hoping his trade value would increase as the season went on. The move would prove to immediately benefit the 49ers when their chosen starter to open the season, Lance, suffered a broken right ankle and underwent season-ending surgery.
Since taking over, Garoppolo has a 7-3 record as the 49ers’ starter, helping to lead the team to an 8-4 record overall, good for first place in the NFC West and a current No. 4 seed in the conference. Garoppolo has done what he always seems to do as a starter, which is simply win football games.
When Garoppolo left today’s game after only one drive, the 49ers had to reach deep into their pockets. This year’s Mr. Irrelevant, Purdy entered Week 13 as the only other quarterback on San Francisco’s active roster. Purdy not only performed admirably but was a huge contributor in helping the 49ers pull out a win against a Dolphins team that would currently sit atop the AFC if it had won today.
San Francisco faces an intriguing stretch over the last five weeks of the season. Next week will pit the seventh-round rookie against the all-time veteran as the team hosts Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Then a short week will send them to Seattle for a Thursday night matchup against the Seahawks that could very well decide the division. They’ll come back home to face a red-hot Commanders team before closing the season with a road trip to Vegas and another division matchup versus the Cardinals.
As for Garoppolo, a quick recovery is paramount for the 31-year-old. The injury could not have come at a worse time for Garoppolo as reports came out just this morning that the veteran was open to a new contract that would keep him in San Francisco. A perceived value that was riding high at an estimated $35MM per year may take a hit now due to the injury.
Upcoming updates should reveal the severity of the damage and the seriousness of the surgery, giving us an idea of what an expected timeline for recovery will look like. With Lance likely on track to be ready for the 2023 season, Garoppolo may find himself, once again, questioning his place in San Francisco.
Wilson suffered the injury in last week’s overtime loss to the Chargers but was able to stay in and complete the game. Wilson felt he could play this week against the Jets, but Hackett will err on the side of caution and hold him out. Schefter also reports that Wilson’s injury will be re-evaluated next week to determine if he will even be able to return against the Jaguars when the Broncos travel to London.
Rypien will start his first game since his rookie season in 2020. Oddly enough, Rypien’s first start was also against the Jets. Rypien gave the Broncos their first win of the season that year with a performance that showcased both some good and some bad. In the lone start, Rypien completed 19 of 31 passes for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns but also gave away three interceptions. Regardless, he led the Broncos to a nine-point win over the Jets and will hope for a similar outcome tomorrow.
In a related move, the Broncos have used one of their gameday elevations on veteran, journeyman quarterback Josh Johnson to back up Rypien. Johnson started a game as recently as last year, when he subbed in on an injury-riddled Ravens offense that was without Lamar Jackson and Tyler Huntley. Johnson put forth an impressive performance in that game completing 28 of 40 pass attempts for 304 yards and two touchdowns, along with one interception.
The team will utilize their second gameday promotion on practice squad long snapper Mitchell Fraboni.
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s AFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
The Broncos look to be going with a younger backup quarterback, with Mike Klis of 9News reporting (via Twitter) the team is releasing veteran Josh Johnson.
While this is old hat for Johnson, one of American sports’ great journeymen, Klis adds the Broncos would like him back on their practice squad. Johnson returning to Denver would mean a de facto spot as the team’s third-string quarterback. Brett Rypien remains on Denver’s roster as Russell Wilson‘s backup.
Despite Johnson’s historically nomadic journey — a sojourn that has passed through four leagues (NFL, United Football League, Alliance of American Football, XFL 2.0) — and age (36), the Broncos signed him early in free agency. The one-year, $1.22MM deal only guaranteed Johnson $100K.
Rypien has been with the Broncos since arriving as a 2019 UDFA, having made one start (in 2020) and attempted 42 regular-season passes.
Johnson does not have to pass through waivers; he can stay in Denver if he chooses. Teams can begin setting practice squads Wednesday afternoon. Although Johnson would make sense as a third QB for the Broncos, he does have a history of changing teams. For those curious, here is Johnson’s journey, in full: Buccaneers, 49ers, Sacramento Mountain Lions (UFL), Browns, Bengals, 49ers again, Bengals again, Jets, Colts, Bills, Ravens, Giants, Texans, Raiders, Washington, San Diego Fleet (AAF), Lions, Los Angeles Wildcats (XFL), 49ers again, Jets again, Ravens again, Broncos.
Josh Johnson‘s historically nomadic career looks set to continue in yet another city. The Broncos are signing the veteran quarterback, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The team has announced the move.
While Johnson has completed reunion trips to certain teams, the Broncos represent new territory. They will be his 14th NFL team. Considering Johnson has also been affiliated with the XFL, AAF and the United Football League of the early 2010s, he has authored a team-hopping run for the ages.
The Broncos are revamping their quarterback room, having traded for Russell Wilson and included Drew Lock in the deal. Although Wilson has missed just three starts in his 10-year career, his thumb injury did alter the Seahawks’ path last season. Denver also has Brett Rypien on its roster. The Broncos might not be done adding to their QB room, but Johnson did perform decently last season.
Johnson, 36 in May, spent last year, naturally, with three teams. He was with the 49ers for part of 2021 but saw game action with the Jets and Ravens, appearing in three games with New York and starting one with Baltimore. For those curious, Johnson’s team list is as follows: Buccaneers, 49ers, Sacramento Mountain Lions (UFL), Browns, Bengals, 49ers again, Bengals again, Jets, Colts, Bills, Ravens, Giants, Texans, Raiders, Washington, San Diego Fleet (AAF), Lions, Los Angeles Wildcats (XFL), 49ers again, Jets again, Ravens again.
The former fifth-round Bucs pick relieved an injured Mike White during a Jets nationally televised game last season; he threw for 317 yards in a loss to the Colts. With the Ravens down Lamar Jackson and Tyler Huntley against the Bengals later in the season, Johnson stepped in and threw for 304 yards and two touchdowns, completing 70% of his passes.
December 15th, 2021 at 10:24am CST by Zachary Links
The Ravens are signing quarterback Josh Johnson off of the Jets’ practice squad (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The veteran will provide extra insurance for Baltimore this week if Lamar Jackson is unable to play.
Johnson, 35, has signed with nearly half of the league at this point. His career has seen long stretches of inactivity and stints with startup football leagues. After getting into four games for Washington in 2018, he spent ’19 with the San Diego Fleet in the Alliance of American Football. In 2020, he was under center for the XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats, until the league shuttered midway through it’s re-inaugural year.
This year, the Jets cycled him between the practice squad and active roster. He appeared in three games while Zach Wilson was sidelined, completing 64.4% of his throws for three touchdowns against one interception.
While Johnson will provide depth, the Ravens anticipate that Jackson will be able to go against the Packers on Sunday.
“The plans are right now, in my mind, for Lamar to be out there. So we’ll see where it goes this week. If he can go, he’ll go,” head coach John Harbaughsaid on Monday. “If not, Tyler [Huntley] will be the quarterback. That’s where we’re at.”
Joe Flacco‘s return to the Big Apple will not result in an immediate starting role. Mike White will take over for the injured Zach Wilson in Week 8, Robert Saleh said Wednesday (via SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, on Twitter).
Reacquired from the Eagles on Monday, Flacco will not return to the Jets’ facility until Friday, Saleh added. It is unlikely the 36-year-old quarterback will dress Sunday, Brian Costello of the New York Post notes (on Twitter). Josh Johnson is expected to be active to serve as White’s backup.
White took over for the injured Wilson in Week 7’s blowout loss to the Patriots but has never started an NFL game. Sunday marked the Western Kentucky alum’s first regular-season action since the Cowboys drafted him in the 2018 fifth round. The Jets faced scrutiny this offseason for not adding a veteran to serve as a Wilson mentor/QB2. While they rectified that shortly after Wilson went down, Flacco has a new system to learn after playing under Adam Gase in 2020.
White completed 20 of 32 passes for 202 yards against New England, throwing one touchdown pass and two picks. The Jets host the Bengals in Week 8. An extremely well-traveled veteran, Johnson has not thrown a regular-season pass since making three starts with Washington in 2018. Prior to that, Johnson went six years without throwing a pass in a regular-season game.
September 1st, 2021 at 1:00pm CST by Zachary Links
The Jets are set to sign Josh Johnson to their 16-man practice squad, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter).
Johnson‘s second Jets stint came to an end on Tuesday, leaving Mike White as Zach Wilson‘s primary backup. White has yet to attempt a regular season pass, so it only makes sense for the Jets to keep Johnson around. The journeyman QB hasn’t had consistent playing time throughout his career (to put it mildly), but he has played/practiced with nearly half of the NFL. He’s also got an XFL stint under his belt, for what it’s worth.
The 35-year-old has famously been with nearly half the league’s teams. The 2008 fifth-round draft choice last played with Washington in 2018, and those three starts came five years after his previous game action. He will be back in free agency soon.
Johnson, a 2008 fifth-round draft pick, last played with Washington in 2018. He started in three games for D.C., ending a five-year drought of live action.
The Jets added Johnson earlier this month. While the 35-year-old hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2018, there was some optimism that he could compete for a spot as Zach Wilson‘s backup. That ultimately wasn’t the case, and with James Morgan also getting waived, the team will roll with Mike White as the second QB.