Johnson, 26, has appeared in 27 NFL games, starting five. He will vie for a reserve role behind Andy Dalton. Bruce Gradkowski, the top backup to Dalton last season, has joined Pittsburgh. If Johnson signs on as expected, he will join Zac Robinson as the only two other quarterbacks than Dalton on the roster.
Johnson, who played collegiately at San Diego under then-head coach Jim Harbaugh, was a fifth-round pick of Tampa Bay in 2008. Current Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden was an assistant on the Buccaneers’ coaching staff when Johnson entered the league.
Johnson appeared in one game last season, joining the Browns for the season finale after a wave of injuries at quarterback. He played one play, taking a sack on what was Cleveland’s last offensive play of the season.