Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan — who has rightfully earned the nickname The Ninja — continues to shape Washington’s defense this offseason, signing former Seattle Seahawks safety Jeron Johnson to a two-year, $4 million deal, according to reports.
The #Redskins are signing safety & ST Jeron Johnson to a 2-year deal worth $4M, source said. He visited this weekend.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2015
It’s another point for the defense, as Johnson joins Ricky Jean Francois, Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea, and Chris Culliver as the Redskins’ top additions since free agency began less than a week ago.
1. Stickin’ to the plan. It may sound like a broken record at this point, but it’s the result of Redskins fans not being accustomed to quality contracts, promising players, and long-term franchise goals. Since McCloughan discussed his plan during his introductory press conference as the team’s general manager earlier this year, he’s done exactly what he said he would.
2. The money. Like the other contracts we’ve seen dished out by the front office so far, this one for Johnson is a fair one. Clearly it’s inexpensive, but also perfect for a backup who may have some potential, but who needs to be given a chance in order to see if he’s deserving of a long-term starting spot and the contract to reflect it. Additionally, there’s very minimal risk. If Johnson doesn’t cut it at safety, he remains a proven asset on special teams.
3. The fit. He fits because the Redskins secondary was terrible last season. From notes and reports, Johnson sounds like a more of a strong safety than a free safety, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him at either position; McCloughan is likely a fan of safeties who can play both spots. Not to mention, Johnson has played about four games worth of snaps in his career; are we really going to call him one kind of safety or the other at this point? Let’s wait and see. And again, in addition to his potential at safety, Johnson is a solid contributor on special teams.
4. The player. Johnson has only one start under his belt since signing with the Seahawks after going undrafted in 2011 out of Boise State, but he’s built a reputation on special teams. His ties to McCloughan may have given Washington a leg up in negotiations (or maybe not). For a signing like this, we’re excited more so about potential and cost than we are about past performance — and that’s far from a bad thing.