Chargers trade for former top pick

August, 31, 2009
8/31/09
3:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson


The San Diego Charges are hoping the Houston Texans’ cutting Travis Johnson will become their good fortune. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Chargers have acquired the former first-round pick for a fifth-round pick next year.

Johnson was a defensive tackle for the Texans but he can play both positions on the defensive line. He will likely begin his San Diego tenure as an end in its 3-4 scheme. He was drafted by Houston in 2005 as a 3-4 end, but in 2006 the Texans’ changed leadership and went tot a 4-3 defense. Johnson didn’t fit the new scheme.

Jacques Cesaire and Ryon Bingham have been dealing with injuries, so Johnson could be a help. He can also be a backup at nose tackle. This is just another classic A.J. Smith insurance policy move.

Johnson was known as an underachiever in Houston. The Chargers hope a change of scenery for the Los Angeles native will spark Johnson’s career. This isn’t a bad move considering Johnson’s ability to fit into the 3-4 defense and the low payment San Diego surrendered for a former top pick.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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