Ravens Bring Back Veteran Journeyman QB on 1-Year Deal

Ravens QB Josh Johnson warms up for preseason game.

Getty Ravens QB Josh Johnson warms up for preseason game.

The Baltimore Ravens and general manager Eric DeCosta have kept an eye on free agency, but with a limited budget they have been strategic with their moves. One such move was bringing back their 2023 emergency QB Josh Johnson for another stint in Baltimore.

On Thursday, March 14, NFL insider Ian Rapoport posted, “The #Ravens are expected to sign back backup QB Josh Johnson, source said, giving him a 1-year deal. Back in Baltimore for the fourth time.”

The Ravens posted from their own X account, “We have re-signed QB Josh Johnson to a one-year deal.”

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed yet besides the fact that this is another 1-year deal. Johnson signed a 1-year, $1.3 million deal with the Ravens in May of 2023 before being released twice and signing back with Baltimore both times.

Johnson served as the emergency QB, or the third QB, on the roster for all of the 2023 season and never saw any action for the Ravens.

Josh Johnson Knows His Way Around the League

Johnson will be entering his age-38 season when the 2024 NFL season kicks off. The veteran was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009 and kicked off a career that has seen him join almost half the league.

Johnson has been on a total of 13 NFL teams in his career, which, besides the Buccaneers and Ravens, include the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Houston Texans, Washington Commanders, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, and Denver Broncos.

Johnson also played in the Alliance of American Football for the San Diego Fleet and in the XFL for the Los Angeles Wildcats.

Unfortunately, he was never able to grab a starting job in the NFL by the horns but has been seen as a capable backup.

Baltimore Beatdown’s Kyle Pheonix wrote about the signing, “His contributions to the Ravens in 2023 as a leader and voice in the locker room appear to have had an impact on the Ravens, earning him another contract.”

Pheonix goes on to write, “Johnson doesn’t much move the needle on the field from his impact, but it’s likely the value of having a veteran like Johnson is more due to his impact in meetings and the locker room.”

Johnson would not keep getting backup or emergency backup roles if he provided no value to teams. His veteran leadership and experience on a variety of teams is invaluable for mentoring younger players.

Ravens May Still Add 2nd-String Quarterback

The Ravens may not be finished adding to their quarterback room this offseason. ESPN’s Ravens’ reporter Jamison Hensley posted, “Ravens re-signed veteran QB Josh Johnson to a one-year deal. Baltimore’s current QBs: Lamar Jackson, Josh Johnson and Malik Cunningham.”

The Ravens have the reigning MVP in Jackson but as they have learned in past seasons having a capable backup is paramount. Jackson has missed at least one game due to injury in four of his five seasons as a starter.

Tyler Huntley has been the primary backup to Jackson since 2020 and has performed well when called on to fill in. However, he is a free agent this season and has not been re-signed as of yet.

It is unclear if DeCosta has been conversations with Huntley about a potential return. Cunningham was poached off the New England Patriots roster during the 2023 season.

However, Pheonix points out, “Cunningham didn’t take many practice snaps as a quarterback after joining the Ravens, only doing so for a few days before participating in receiving drills and special teams reps.”

Cunningham is still a raw talent, so turning the backup job over to him is unlikely. “With Cunningham unlikely to retain a job as a quarterback for Baltimore and Johnson being named the teams’ emergency third quarterback for the 2023 season, the backup quarterback role for the Ravens, to me, is still up-in-the-air,” Phoenix explained.


Read More