New Orleans Saints' 2018 free agency: George Johnson provides valuable depth
/ Saints

By Mike TriplettESPN Staff Writer

Mike Triplett breaks down the New Orleans Saints' 2018 free-agent signings.

The New Orleans Saints re-signed veteran defensive end George Johnson to a one-year deal, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Here’s a closer look at the signing:

Grade: B-plus. This move feels like a no-brainer after Johnson signed with the Saints last December and played so well down the stretch. The 30-year-old is not the game-changer they need at the position, but he proved he can provide valuable depth.

What it means: I still have defensive end ranked as the Saints’ No. 1 need. They need an impact player on the opposite end from first-team All-Pro Cameron Jordan. And it’s unclear if Alex Okafor can be that guy again, since Okafor is coming off of a torn Achilles and remains unsigned as a free agent. But Johnson is obviously a good fit for the rotation. The former Buccaneers, Vikings and Lions journeyman came in last December and racked up 2.5 sacks in his first two games. Then he started both of New Orleans’ playoff games.

What’s the risk: Not much, since I assume this is a veteran-minimum deal -- and since the Saints won’t be counting on Johnson to be their full-time starter. The 6-foot-4, 265-pounder started just five games with six sacks in his eight-year career before joining the Saints. And strangely, all six of those sacks came in 2014 with...

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