Bengals bring back speedy quarterback Josh Johnson


Josh Johnson, a quarterback whose athletic talent is great but whose NFL career has been limited by his lack of passing ability, has returned to one of his old NFL homes.

The Bengals announced today that they’ve signed Johnson to a free agent contract. Johnson previously spend the 2013 season as Andy Dalton’s backup in Cincinnati and will now compete with A.J. McCarron for the right to back Dalton up again.

Johnson was a fifth-round draft pick of the Buccaneers in 2008 and spent three years in Tampa Bay. He then signed with the 49ers in 2012, reuniting with his college coach at San Diego, Jim Harbaugh. That was the first of two stints with the 49ers, and Johnson has also spent time with the Browns.

Johnson has started five games in his NFL career, completing 54.2 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also has a 6.2-yard average as a runner.

20 responses to “Bengals bring back speedy quarterback Josh Johnson

  1. Why does J Johnson keep getting chances in the NFL? Someone really takes pity on him but he sucks as a pro QB, and he is so unathletic that switching to a different position is not an option.


  2. Anyone who thinks JJ will be given a chance to play needs their head checked.

    He’s a camp QB. With a very low chance to stick as the qb3.

  3. Josh Johnson Colin Kapernick a quarterback whose athletic talent is great but whose NFL career has been limited by his lack of passing ability

    Oh, come on, you were all thinking it with that picture.

  4. Speedy, athletic, erratic and quick to run. I guess the Bengals are preparing for the Browns to trade up and draft Marriotta.

  5. @ driyzzt23 and hitdog042, the reason Josh Johnson and others like him stick around for so many years is that athletic QBs (even if history has shown they are not worthy of being a starter) are very valuable to teams and can come at a very low cost. These QBs run the scout teams that help get your defense ready for Sunday. The 2nd or 3rd string QB that is a traditional “pocket passer” can not simulate the speed and running abilities of Kapernick, Wilson, Newton, Vick, etc.. But, guys like Josh Johnson can study the tendencies of an opposing QB and get your defense ready to face Tom Brady’s or Russell Wilson’s of the NFL. And, like I said, they come relatively cheap, and bring big value.

  6. So Josh Johnson will somehow emulate Tom Brady on the scout team (because Tom Brady has amazing speed as we all know) and this will provide a good live action representation of Tom Brady’s pass accuracy and decision-making skills?

    Russell Wilson, Steve Young, and Fran Tarkenton are/were successful as mobile QBs b/c they are/were a true passing threat. Vick is not a pass threat, neither is Kap, VY, Newton, etc.

    You can rip “statuesque” pocket passers all you want but the empirical evidence has proven, every time, that mobile QBs get a team nowhere and the team is forced to get a pocket QB down the line.

  7. @ Dryzzt32, my point was not to be critical of pocket passers. Obviously, teams with pocket passers can win and do win with regularity. My point is that a 2nd string QB has to get ready each week to run the offense as he is always one play away from getting in the game. However, the 3rd string QB is running the scout team and helping to prepare the defense. So, if the Bengals had to play the Pats or Broncos, Josh Johnson would not take off and run during practice that week. He would stay in the pocket. However, if the Bengals had to play Seattle. Josh Johnson would scramble as plays break down, or he would mimic designed QB runs. Because, of his athleticism, he can perform both roles with enough functionality to help prepare a defense. However, “statuesque” 3rd string QBs can not mimic running QBs very effectively. So, guys like Josh Johnson bring value to a team. That’s why they stick around for 8-10 years even though no GMs envision him to be a starter.

  8. Not only are these guys above average at running scout teams as Cam, Kap, etc, if they do ever get called on in a game they pretty much get told “if you’re #1 ain’t there, tuck it and run” so they have less chances of losing it for their teams.

  9. Wasn’t long ago, people posting here said guys like this Johnson dude were the future of the NFL. “Passing doesn’t matter” they said. Now the guy can’t land more than a part time gig. *shrug*

  10. Johnson can run, but he is not an NFL caliber passer. I don’t think he overtakes McCarron for the backup role.

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