Tom Johnson, who had been with the Saints since 2011, is leaving New Orleans for the Minnesota Vikings in free agency, an NFL source told The Advocate on Wednesday.
Johnson agreed to terms on a one-year deal that could be worth up to $1.45 million, the source said. The deal — pending a physical scheduled for Thursday — includes a minimum of $850,000, a $100,000 signing bonus, a $100,000 roster bonus and a $600,000 incentive package.
Johnson, a former Canadian Football League player, played in 40 games on New Orleans’ defensive line rotation, including 14 in 2013, counting the playoffs. He had two sacks and, according to the Saints, 15 tackles (six solo), providing depth at defensive end under first-time Pro Bowler Cameron Jordan as well as Akiem Hicks.
Johnson earned a base salary of $750,000 last year. He was one of New Orleans’ four restricted free agents, but the Saints opted to not tender him, which would’ve given them the right to match any offers he might’ve been interested in.
As for the other three Saints restricted free agents, safety Rafael Bush was the only one tendered; fullback Jed Collins left for Detroit on Wednesday; and wide receiver Joe Morgan re-signed with New Orleans on Tuesday.
Johnson, a native of Mississippi, is well-known around his hometown for helping his high school (Moss Point) win a Class 5A state championship for the 2000 prep season.
Fox Sports 1’s Alex Marvez and USA Today’s Tom Pelissero were the first to confirm the story of Johnson reaching terms with the Vikings on Wednesday.