Despite being released earlier this offseason, a Will Johnson return to the New York Giants could still happen.
After the New York Giants signed fullback/tight end Rhett Ellison in free agency, it made their other hybrid player Will Johnson expendable.
Johnson, who spent all of 2016-17 on injured reserve, was on the books for a $1.275 million cap hit in 2017. By cutting Johnson the Giants saved $1.075 million in cap space.
However, the door is still open for Johnson to eventually return to the team. According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, although he’s drawn interest from several other squads, Johnson coming back to Big Blue is not out of the question.
“He has drawn interest and recently visited with the [New York] Jets and [Atlanta] Falcons,” Raanan reported. “A return to the Giants remains a possibility after he missed all of last season with a nerve problem in his shoulder. He’s healthy now and brings a unique and versatile skill set to the table.”
Having both Ellison and Johnson on the roster would open up some interesting possibilities for head coach Ben McAdoo. Both players are extremely versatile, able to line up at the fullback or tight end position, with the ability to catch passes and block effectively at either spot.
Johnson spent the first four seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he earned a reputation as a hard-nosed blocker. During that span, he caught 31 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns, while also pitching in eight carries for 14 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
If he does re-sign with the Giants, Johnson would likely have to be alright with coming back on a veteran minimum deal. For a player of his experience that would be a $775,000 contract. Getting him back on a deal so cheap with the possibility he could return to form after last season’s injury would be a great move for New York.