On Friday, Jon’Vea Johnson was out of a job, waived from the Dallas Cowboys‘ offseason roster. Twenty-four hours later, Johnson was gainfully employed again — albeit by a new employer.
Per the NFL’s transaction wire, the Jacksonville Jaguars claimed the third-year wide receiver off waivers Saturday, reuniting the 6-foot, 192-pound pass-catcher with former Cowboys receivers coach Sanjay Lal.
Johnson was among four players chopped by Dallas a little more than two months after inking reserve/future deals. The team also waived WR Chris Lacy, center Marcus Henry, and tight end Cole Hikutini, and previously released punter Chris Jones.
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Johnson joined the Cowboys in 2019 as an undrafted free agent. Following a buzzed-about rookie offseason, Johnson registered a disappointing preseason, finishing with eight catches for 73 scoreless yards. He was placed on injured reserve prior to the regular season due to a shoulder issue.
“It’s not a surprise, because we loved his film, but Jon’Vea the last two days, his speed and athleticism and how smooth he is has shown up here – almost a little bit earlier than we thought it would,” Lal said in 2019, per the Cowboys’ official website.
His bad luck continued as a sophomore. Johnson was sent to the reserve/COVID-19 list last July, torpedoing what little chance he had of cracking the 2020 squad. He was waived less than a month upon his activation from the list and re-signed to the practice squad, where the 25-year-old would remain.
Johnson was a fairly decorated collegian at Toledo, earning second-team All-MAC honors in 2016 and third-team All-MAC honors in 2018. He compiled 2,265 yards and 25 touchdowns on 125 receptions across 46 appearances for the Rockets. He was loosely compared to former Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin during the pre-draft process.
“I can’t help but think Johnson is going to be that great grinder #4-5 WR for a team that never really becomes memorable, but there’s a chance based on his profile –so he’s definitely worth a look,” wrote R.C. Fischer of College Football Metrics.
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Turner Re-Ups with Dallas
In announcing this wave of cuts, the Cowboys also revealed that WR Malik Turner inked a one-year contract to return in 2021. Turner, a restricted free agent, was not tendered by the team. Terms of his deal are not available as of this writing.
Turner appeared in six games for Dallas last season after being claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. A strict special-teamer, he notched two tackles across 92 snaps (20%) for John Fassel’s unit.
Turner (6-3, 200) entered the league with Seattle as a 2018 UDFA. The 24-year-old appeared in 21 games from 2018-19, catching 17 passes on 25 targets for 265 yards (15.6 yards per reception) and one touchdown.
He played collegiately at Illinois, posting 143 receptions for 1,804 yards and 10 TDs over four seasons.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL