Former Glassboro Star George Johnson Almost Vaulted Team to NFC Title Game

Former Glassboro Star George Johnson Almost Vaulted Team to NFC Title Game

George Johnson has had a nomadic NFL career, was all but ready to return home this weekend for the NFC championship game before a last-second turn of event for the ages.

A Glassboro High graduate who starred at Rutgers, Johnson was signed by the New Orleans Saints in December.

In Sunday’s NFC divisional game at Minnesota, Johnson blocked a fourth quarter punt that led to the go-ahead touchdown, giving the Saints a 21-20 lead. The Vikings then kicked a field goal for a 23-21 advantage but New Orleans added a 43-yard field goal, which most felt was the game-winner with 25 seconds left.

Trailing 24-23, Minnesota then got a miracle 61-yard TD pass from Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs as time expired.

So Johnson’s big special teams play got lost in all the late-game theatrics by Diggs and the Vikings.

The 30-year-old Johnson has certainly had his ups and downs, but the key is that he has been able to make a living playing football, regardless of how difficult it has been at times.

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He has played for Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Detroit and New Orleans. Johnson has had two stints each with Tampa Bay and Detroit. Johnson went undrafted out of Rutgers, where totaled 13 sacks over four years. After that he kept plugging and eventually signed a three-year $9 million offer sheet with Tampa Bay and was traded to the Bucs a week later after Detroit matched the offer before dealing him.

To show how much Johnson has endured, here is the list of transactions, courtesy of

September 5, 2011: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut.

September 8, 2011: Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad addition.

October 10, 2011: Tampa Bay Buccaneers activated from the Practice Squad.

November 14, 2011: Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed on IR.

February 6, 2012: Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been taken off IR.

November 1, 2012: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut DE George Johnson.

November 9, 2012: Minnesota Vikings signed DE George Johnson to the practice squad.

December 22, 2012: Minnesota Vikings activated DE George Johnson from the practice squad.

October 9, 2013: Minnesota Vikings cut DE George Johnson.

April 22, 2014: Detroit Lions signed DE George Johnson.

April 8, 2015: Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed DE George Johnson to a three-year, $9 million offer sheet.

April 15, 2015: Tampa Bay Buccaneers acquired DE George Johnson and a 2015 seventh-round draft pick from the Detroit Lions for 2015 fifth-round draft pick.

August 5, 2016: Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed DE George Johnson on IR.

September 1, 2017: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut DE George Johnson.

September 20, 2017: Detroit Lions signed DE George Johnson.

October 18, 2017: Detroit Lions cut DE George Johnson.

November 14, 2017: Detroit Lions signed DE George Johnson.

November 15, 2017: Detroit Lions waived DE George Johnson.

November 16, 2017: Detroit Lions cut DE George Johnson.

December 12, 2017: New Orleans Saints signed DE George Johnson.

Had the Vikings not made a miracle comeback, it would have been Johnson, returning home to Philadelphia instead of the cardiac Vikings.

Author: Marc Narducci


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