Cincinnati Bengals Sign Quarterback Josh Johnson

By James Rapien
Kim Klement-US Presswire

When the Cincinnati Bengals let backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski walk in free agency, most people assumed they would select a quarterback in this year’s NFL draft.

Although he visited last week, NFL journeyman Josh Johnson didn’t seem to be a serious contender for the backup quarterback slot. That changed a few hours ago when NFL writer Jenna Laine reported the Bengals and Johnson agreed to terms. The details of the contract have not been released, but Johnson said it was a two-year deal.

The contract will be finalized on Saturday, according to sources and it appears Johnson will be Gradkowski’s replacement.

Johnson was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008. He was selected by Jon Gruden, who is the older brother of Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. Jay worked with the Buccaneers in 2008 as an offensive assistant.

Johnson started five-games in his four-seasons with the Buccaneers. He had a brief stint with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL in 2012, before signing with the Cleveland Browns.

It remains to be seen if the Bengals will consider drafting a quarterback in this season’s draft. Clearly they have confidence in starter Andy Dalton who is heading into his third-season. The Johnson signing eliminates pressure to draft a quarterback early, but they could always draft a rookie and let him compete with Johnson for the backup position.

In his career, Johnson has completed 54.2 percent of his throws for 1,042 yards. He has thrown five-touchdowns and 10 interceptions posting a 57.7 quarterback rating. He’s appeared in 27 games during his five-year career, with five starts.

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