When the Ravens tried to trade for
The deal fell through for reasons Johnson didn’t know, and then his season took a difficult turn.
Johnson received tragic news that his sister was shot to death by her ex-boyfriend and his mother was wounded too. He finished the season on the reserve/non-football injury list and spent the year caring for his mother and sister’s children.
Now, about a year later, Johnson’s where he wanted to be.
“I think this is the No. 1 world class organization to play for. I told [Head] Coach [John] Harbaugh that yesterday,” Johnson said. “Now I got my dream, and that’s to play on a championship team.”
The Ravens signed Johnson, 33, Tuesday after he spent the first half of the season as a free agent to help bolster the secondary with cornerback
But Baltimore has coveted Johnson for a while.
“[He is] a great guy – a guy we’ve always respected as a player,” Harbaugh said. “We’re very excited to have him on board.”
The nine-year veteran spent the last five seasons in Oakland, where he started 29 games and had eight interceptions. Before that, he played for the St. Louis Rams and Green Bay Packers.
He didn’t attend any team’s training camp this summer because of a mix-up when he thought he had an agent but actually didn’t.
Harbaugh said Johnson had a “great workout” and looked really good in his tryout Tuesday.
“I always knew what I could do,” Johnson said. “It was just finding a good organization to come to. That’s what I was waiting for.”
Johnson said he’s not sure what his role will be in Baltimore. He played on the kickoff and punt return teams in Oakland, and could fill a special teams role with the Ravens. He’s now in the process of trying to pick up the defense.
“The guy is a professional,” Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said. “He’s working at it. We’ll do the best that we can to prepare him in the schemes that we have. Can he get ready for a whole scheme? Probably nobody could do that in a short amount of time.”
Johnson said he’s not worried about where he fits in, calling himself just a piece of the puzzle that’s “not going to make the team or break the team.” He’s just happy to be playing football again, and to be in Baltimore.
“Some people get caught up in the game sometimes, but it’s an honor to play in the National Football League,” he said. “The months that I was sitting at home, I was just enjoying my family and my life, and I’m blessed to get another opportunity.”