The Dolphins announced Thursday that they signed free agent safety Tyrell Johnson.
Johnson was the 43rd overall pick of the 2008 draft and played 49 games for the Vikings over the last four years. He spent the 2009 season as a starter, but didn’t do a very good job defending against the pass. He’s been limited to reserve and special teams roles for most of the last two years and never lived up to the status of a second-round pick in Minnesota.
The Dolphins have an opening at safety after parting ways with Yeremiah Bell earlier in the offseason. There’s been some talk about bringing Bell back at a lower salary, but Johnson’s arrival might be a sign that the Dolphins are heading in a different direction. Kevin Coyle has talked about going away from a strict free safety/strong safety alignment, but Johnson’s issues in pass coverage would make it hard for him to play the deep man. Chris Clemons, Reshad Jones and Tyrone Culver are also on hand at safety for the Dolphins.
Linebacker Austin Spitler also signed his exclusive rights tender with the team on Thursday.