Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Vikings sign ex-Saints defensive lineman

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings defense Updated: March 20, 2014 - 4:45 PM

The Vikings announced they have signed former New Orleans defensive lineman Tom Johnson, who had an early morning physical at Winter Park.

Johnson, 29, gets a one-year contract worth $845,000 plus incentives, an NFL source confirmed.

Johnson, a 6-3, 290-pounder, played end in the Saints’ 3-4 scheme, but probably would back up Sharrif Floyd at the three-technique tackle position, although the team also is short-handed on experience at end with former backup Everson Griffen stepping in for departing starter Jared Allen.

After going undrafted in 2005 out of Southern Miss, the Colts signed Johnson, but cut him in training camp. He was out of football in 2005 before re-signing with the Colts in May of 2006. Indianapolis assigned him to the Cologne Centurions of the now-defunct NFL Europe.

Johnson spent 2008 with two Arena League teams, the Grand Rapids Rampage and the Philadelphia Soul. He moved on to the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders in 2009 and 2010.

Johnson has been with the Saints since 2011. He has played 40 games with no starts and has five sacks and 86 tackles in the regular season, and was in four playoff games as well.


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