Thursday, March 20, 2014
Tom Johnson to sign with Vikings
By Ben Goessling
MINNEAPOLIS -- Former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Tom Johnson is at the Minnesota Vikings' team facility in Eden Prairie, Minn., for a physical today, and will sign a one-year, $845,000 deal that could pay him up to another $600,000 in incentives, according to a league source.
Johnson, who played defensive end in the Saints' 3-4 scheme, had interest from the Cowboys, Bears, Dolphins and Seahawks in addition to the Vikings, according to the source, but the Vikings and Cowboys stood out as the best fits for Johnson at three-technique tackle. Once the Cowboys signed former Bears tackle Henry Melton, the Vikings were an obvious match, the source said.
His deal with the Vikings will pay him a $645,000 base salary and a $100,000 roster bonus, in addition to signing and workout bonuses of $50,000 each. His incentives will be based on playing time and sacks, and will kick in at different tiers.
The addition of the 29-year-old Johnson, who's shown some effectiveness as a rotational player, again likely means that Kevin Williams' time in Minnesota is just about over. The six-time Pro Bowler said on Wednesday he's waiting to see what the Vikings do, and hadn't had any contact with them since last week. Williams said his chances of a return to the Vikings look like "slim pickings," and the way the team has added younger defensive linemen seems to signal they're headed in a direction that wouldn't necessarily be compatible with Williams, who will be 34 before the season starts.