The Chargers just keep on making the right moves.
Per NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Chargers are expected to sign 27-year old defensive tackle Austin Johnson once free agency kicks off on Wednesday. The signing would come at one of the team’s biggest positions of need this offseason, joining their moves made to improve the pass rush (Khalil Mack) and their secondary (J.C. Jackson).
Johnson, a former second-round pick out of Penn State in 2016, was most recently with the Giants for two seasons (2020-2021). In 17 starts for New York last year, Johnson recorded high marks across the board with 72 total tackles, six tackles for loss, seven quarterback hits, and 3.5 sacks.
From 2016 to 2020, Johnson 13 games for the Titans playing mainly in a rotational role.
At 6’4 and 314 pounds, Johnson is a great fit for the three-technique role in Brandon Staley’s 3-4 defense as a hefty defensive lineman that can help plug up running lanes and hold up at the point of attack.
This is the type of cheap, yet value-filled signing by the Chargers that I was hoping for at defensive tackle. I’m sure most fans are fairly all-in on the team attempting to land someone like Georgia’s Jordan Davis in this year’s draft, but being able to add someone with a fairly low price tag with enough upside to potentially out-play his contract will go a long way.
I’m a big fan of this signing. Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below how you’re all feeling!