This transaction would make the Giants practice squad count at 17. New York would have to release a player to make room on the practice squad for Johnson.
Johnson, 28, will join cornerback Fabian Moreau as the second player to be added to the Giants practice squad Monday.
The Philadelphia Eagles signed Johnson as an undrafted free agent out of Texas in 2016. He was on and off the Eagles’ practice squad and caught five catches for 45 yards in 2017. The 28-year-old was a member of the team’s Super Bowl LII Championship team after defeating the New England Patriots 41-33.
Johnson was then traded to the Seattle Seahawks, and then to the Indianapolis Colts at the start of the 2018 season. He caught 37 passes for 634 yards and three touchdowns for three seasons in Indianapolis.
In 2021, he signed with the Tennessee Titans and caught nine passes for 160 yards (17.8 YPC) in 11 appearances. He spent some time with the San Francisco 49ers this offseason before being released in August.
The veteran receiver has appeared in 41 games with 12 games started. He has caught 51 out of 96 pass targets for 839 yards and three touchdowns. His best season came in 2019 with the Colts when he caught 17 of 33 pass targets for 277 yards and two touchdowns.
Johnson has familiarity with Giants assistant manager Brandon Brown, who was an Eagles front office member in 2017 when the wide receiver made the team’s 53-man roster in his second season.
NJ.com’s Art Stapleton also notes that Giants wide receiver coach Mike Groh was with Johnson as a coach in Philly and Indianapolis.
There’s a chance that Johnson is used as one of their two weekly game-day elevations for Sunday’s Week 1 matchup against the Titans. If Johnson plays Week 1 against his former team and impresses, he could be elevated to the 53-man roster as soon as Week 2.
Listed at 6-foot-1, 207 pounds, Johnson brings size and athleticism and could provide an outside presence — if he were to get called up to the active roster.
Rookie Embracing NFL Grind
First-round rookie offensive lineman Evan Neal will be making his debut Sunday and his emotions are running high.
“I feel amazing,” Neal told reporters Monday, via SB Nation’s Big Blue View. “I feel awesome, man. My mom and my dad are going to be at the game to support me. It’s just a blessing, man, just a testament to the hard work that it took to get here. I’m just excited. I’m excited to go out there and play ball.”
New York’s offensive line was ranked amongst the worst in pass block win rate last season, according to ESPN. Entering 2022, the Giants will have two youngsters at tackle in Andrew Thomas and Neal.
Neal will be put to the task and the No. 7 overall pick from Alabama is already seeing how different the NFL is from college.
“It’s definitely a more technical league, for sure,” Neal said. “So I had to become more of a technician,” Neal said. “I couldn’t just rely so much on just my raw athleticism, my talent. I had to become more of a technician as well, working on my pass set angles. I feel like I’m more comfortable in my sets, I’m using my hands more. And I feel like I’m more balanced as well. But I mean, obviously, I have a lot of work that still needs to be done, but I feel like my game is trending in the right direction.”
Alabama only lost four games during Neal’s three seasons as a starter. While the Giants have had five straight losing seasons, the rookie is focusing on winning, no matter what.
“I’ve never really had to prepare for losing because I’ve never really lost too much in the past,” Neal said. “I hate losing, I always have and, you know, losing here is not something I’m going to focus on. The goal is to win. I’m going to do everything in my power to help this team win.”