Let me get this straight before the guy in the picture (right) finds me and tears me a new scrote...I'm not calling Eric Johnson, former 49er tight-end, an asshole per say, but he was a 49er and therefore he is guilty by association. See, as far as I'm concerned, anybody who remembers Saints football in the late 1980's and 1990's remembers the 49ers--they were the cocksmokers of the NFL. They always got the referee's calls in their favor and always beat the Saints, when both teams were in the same division--the NFC West. That damn Jerry Rice...anyway, I digress.
Okay, so back to actual news that you would maybe, kinda sorta care about...a little. The Saints signed this guy, Eric Johnson (not an asshole any more), to a 1-year, $2.00 M contract to compete at tight-end with Billy Miller. Johnson was a serviceable tight-end for the 49ers for the past four years. He was a 7th round draft choice of the 49ers in 2001 out the NCAA football powerhouse of Yale. At least he's smart...right? Right?
Last year was Johnson's worst as a pro, as he gathered in 34 receptions for 292 yards (a 8.6 yd/catch average) and 2 touchdowns. However, 2004 was his most productive year when he caught 82 passes for 825 yards (a 10.1 yd/catch average) and 2 touchdowns. When healthy, Johnson should be as usable as every other tight-end the Saints have had in the past 7 years or so, and that's not saying a whole lot. However, the potential is there. Coupled with the pass-catching skills of Billy Miller, Johnson should be a welcomed part of the receiving corps.
In other news, the Saints have signed MLB Brian Simmons, formerly of the Cincanatti Jailbirds. Brian is a productive, 31-year old veteran of the NFL and he's slated to move into the starting role at MLB, replacing the solid Mark Simoneau. Together, the two should form up a solid linebacking corps that overachieved in 2006. However, if the linebackers continue to improve and play well, 2006 will be less of a farce. Now, if we can only get a cornerback that doesn't fall down on every play or get burned routinely. That would be nice...yeah. Sigh...