Skip to main content


Jets Sign Veteran Quarterback Josh Johnson

Among Signal-Caller's NFL Stops: a Short Stay at the End of the 2015 Preseason with the Green & White

Detroit Lions quarterback Josh Johnson (4) plays against the Cleveland Browns during the second half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

The Jets have signed a veteran quarterback in Josh Johnson, six years after he first came to the Green & White for a 10-day stay late in the 2015 preseason. To make room on their 90-man roster, they have waived undrafted free agent linebacker Brendon White, who was signed after this year's draft out of Rutgers.

Johnson (6-3, 219) is the well-traveled 35-year-old signal-caller who was born in Oakland and played his college ball at the University of San Diego. He has made 16 previous stops with 13 different NFL franchises, including his most recent stay with San Francisco last season, when he and Jets head coach Robert Saleh, then the 49ers' defensive coordinator, became acquainted. The other stops for Johnson include:

■ Tampa Bay, which drafted him in the fifth round (160th overall) in 2009.

■ San Francisco, for offseason and training camp in 2012.

■ Cleveland, late in the 2012 season.

■ Cincinnati, which he signed with as a free agent and played for in 2013.

■ San Francisco again, which he signed with as a FA and stayed with off and on through 2014.

■ Cincinnati again, for offseason and camp in 2015.

■ The Jets, as an emergency fill-in at QB for the last two preseason games in 2015.

■ Indianapolis, which he signed with as a free agent in October 2015.

■ Buffalo, which he active with for the remainder of 2015.

■ Baltimore, for offseason and training camp in 2016.

■ The Giants, whom he was active with in 2016 and was with in the 2017 offseason and training camp before being waived/injured.

■ Houston, which he active with in November-December 2017.

■ Oakland, for two months in the 2018 offseason.

■ Washington, which he signed with and played for in December 2018.

■ Detroit, which he was active with for a month in 2019.

■ San Francisco for a third time. He was on the 49ers practice squad in November 2020, signed to a futures contract in January of this year, and was released in June.

Johnson has appeared in regular-season games for four of those teams — Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Washington. For his career he has played in 33 games with eight starts (four with Tampa Bay in 2009, three with Washington in '18). He's completed 148 of 268 passes (55.2%) for 1,632 yards, eight touchdowns and 14 interceptions and has been sacked 26 times.

In his Jets stay, when he was signed along with veteran Matt Flynn to back up Ryan Fitzpatrick after Geno Smith was injured, Johnson didn't play in the third preseason game vs. the Giants. In the preseason finale vs. Philadelphia, Johnson came on for Flynn, who started, in the third quarter, completed seven of 12 passes for 82 yards, ran seven times for 76 yards and otherwise preserved the Jets' 24-18 win over the Eagles.

After that game, Johnson was asked about his mindset with '15 final cuts just ahead.

"I stopped getting nervous after my rookie year because I realized how much of a blessing this is to be in this opportunity," he said. "There's so many people who want the opportunity to just put on a jersey and walk out of this locker room. When you look at it that way, that takes a lot of nervousness out because you are blessed to have an opportunity that a lot of people wish they could have,"

White, after three seasons at Ohio State (29 games), lined up for the Scarlet Knights last season and tallied 40 tackles along with 1 INT, 1 FF and 1 FR.

Related Content