After franchise-tagging Leonard Williams, the Giants will add another piece to their defensive line. They agreed to terms with defensive tackle Austin Johnson on Thursday, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets.
Johnson has spent his entire career with the Titans, who drafted him in the second round in 2016. The Penn State product played in every Titans game from 2017-19, starting 13 of them.
A clear connection helps explain the signing. One of Johnson’s defensive line coaches with the Nittany Lions is making the move to the NFL; Joe Judge hired Sean Spencer to coach the Giants’ D-line. Johnson played his final two seasons under Spencer with the Big Ten program.
Johnson played 29% of the Titans’ defensive snaps last season and 38% in 2018. The 6-foot-4, 314-pound interior defender registered 23 tackles in 2019. He will join a line for the Giants that is by far their defense’s deepest position. Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill reside up front for the Giants. And Johnson looks set for a rotational role.
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