January 20, 2011

Saints ink CFL All-Star DT Johnson

The Saints have gone north for their latest street free agent signing of the 2011 offseason.

DT Tom Johnson has been somewhat of a journeyman over the past six years.

Calgary Stampeders All-Star starting defensive tackle Tom Johnson has signed a three-year contract with the Saints with a signing bonus worth up to $1.8 million, according to a report in from SportsNet Canada.  Another report in the Calgary Sun indicates the signing bonus is "five figures", however.

Johnson, 26, is a product of the University of Southern Mississippi, and a native of Moss Point, MS, so his return to the States is somewhat of a homecoming.  Johnson arrived at USM as a transfer from Gulf Coast Community College, and entered the draft after the 2005.

The Colts signed him as an undrafted free agent, took him to camp twice and sent him to NFL Europe's final season in 2007.  A calf injury scuttled his early NFL hopes.  He's since played with two different Arena Football teams, in Philadelphia, with the original incarnation of the Voodoo and also Grand Rapids in 2008.

In the Benson-owned Voodoo's final game, Johnson recorded a sack on New Orleans QB Danny Wimprine in the New Orleans Arena.

Official unrestricted free agency for NFL players doesn't begin until March, when failures to renew the CBA could league to free agency being postponed indefinitely.

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