The Titans have agreed to terms with former Texans and Browns cornerback Kevin Johnson, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Former Browns’ CB Kevin Johnson is going to the Titans on a one-year deal, per @DrewJRosenhaus. Back to the AFC South, where he once starred for the Texans.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2021
This signing was met by widepsread negativity. Johnson is a former first round pick. The Texans selected him with the 16th overall selection back in the 2015 NFL Draft. Johnson failed to live up to his potential, and was released before the 2019 season began.
I have zero clue what the #Titans see in Kevin Johnson. None. Hopefully it’s a vet minimum deal that they could cut after training camp with little dead money.— Mike Herndon (@MikeMiracles) March 18, 2021
Johnson spent the 2019 season as a member of the Bills. He was active for all 16 games, but made just one start. He spent the 2020 season with the Browns.
Looking at the current state of the cornerback position, Johnson appears set to start in the slot. Paul Kuharsky gets the same feeling. That concerns me.
Sense is #Titans like Kevin Johnson as nickel.— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) March 18, 2021
I’m going to be honest with you. It’s tough to get excited about this signing. If we were to attempt to sell you on it, we would say that Johnson is a long-armed, man cover cornerback that fits the scheme and the secondary the Titans are trying to build. All of their moves on the backend so far, including the signing of Jackrabbit Jenkins suggests that they want to play more man coverage. That’s the style of play Johnson is most familiar with.
Mike Vrabel, defensive backs coach Anthony Midget and defensive coordinator Shane Bowen all coached Johnson in Houston. This continues a tradition of NFL coaches bringing in bad players because ah yes, they’re familiar with them!
Let’s take a deeper look into how PFF graded Johnson throughout the 2020 season.
Total snaps played: 575
Pass coverage snaps: 361
Run defense snaps: 190
Pass rush snaps: 24
Targets: 47 (T-84)
Receptions allowed: 35 (T-67)
Solo tackles: 29 (95th)
Forced fumbles: 1
* CB with at least 20% of league-highest volume are ranked.
Overall grade: 50.6
Pass coverage grade: 52.7
Run defense grade: 45.9
Pass rush grade: 55.5
These numbers leave a lot to be desired. Unless there’s another shoe to fall here, and it could happen via the NFL draft, Johnson looks poised to receive a lot of playing time in 2021.