Linebacker Tony Johnson is the newest member of the New York Giants, having just signed with the team on June 11 to replace waived linebacker Ryan Jones. Let's learn a little more about the undrafted free agent from Louisiana Tech as we continue our player-by-profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp in a few short weeks.
2014 Season in Review
The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Johnson was a JUCO transfer who split his junior season at Louisiana Tech between linebacker and fullback. Playing only linebacker in 2014, he finished third on the Bulldogs in tackles with 69, seven for loss. He had 2.5 sacks and forced two fumbles. Johnson was a team captain in 2014.
2015 Season Outlook
The fact that Johnson was still available to the Giants when a roster spot opened in early June tells you NFL teams were not exactly banging down his door begging him to sign. He faces perhaps the longest odds of making the 53-man roster of any player the Giants will bring to training camp. Still, he will be in camp. That means he has a chance.
There does not seem to be much information available about Johnson in terms of scouting reports. An article from the Louisiana Tech web site suggest that Johnson has not had an easy road to this opportunity with the Giants.
"Life is hard and this game is hard, but you have to fight through it to get where you want to be," said Johnson.
Johnson also addressed spending his first two years of college at Southwest Mississippi College, a junior college.
"I am a better person now after going through that," Johnson said. "I was a little childish coming in, and I had to grow up and learn a few things."
Does Johnson have any sort of realistic chance of being more than just a training camp body for the Giants? Devon Kennard, Jon Beason, J.T. Thomas, Jonathan Casillas, Jameel McClain and Mark Herzlich are expected to make the roster if healthy. That leaves Johnson fighting with undrafted players Cole Farrand and Devin Unga to perhaps earn a spot on the practice. The Giants also have veteran Victor Butler, who faces a four-game suspension to start the season.
The odds are undoubtedly against Johnson. It sounds, however, like he is used to that.