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February 24, 2009

LB Johnson staying with restructured deal

Johnson-landon_hs-08  The Carolina Panthers are planning to keep linebacker Landon Johnson and are reworking his contract to save approximately $1 million in salary cap space for the 2009 season.

 The Observer has learned the deal is imminent, though not yet final.

 There has been speculation that the Panthers would release Johnson, but that would've saved them about the same amount of cap space that they'll be getting with the changes to his contract.

Johnson was a four-year starter for the Cincinnati Bengals before joining Carolina as an unrestricted free agent last year. He played sparingly for the Panthers, appearing in 15 games without getting a start at linebacker. He had seven tackles on defense and was the team's sixth-leading tackler on special teams with six stops.

With the recent overhaul in Carolina's defensive coaching staff, Johnson again could compete for a starting outside linebacker position in 2009.

Johnson's re-worked contract is just one of several moves the Panthers will have to make to get under the NFL salary cap before Friday.

 -- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on February 24, 2009 at 11:51 AM | Permalink


Glad to see him stay! He is solid and will give Diggs all he can handle.

We keep seeing all of these stories about how greedy players are with money, but we don't see enough of stories about players who are willing to sacrifice money to stay in a good organization to help the team. Love guys with a team first mentality! They're the ones who win championships!

Posted by: TrueFan | Feb 24, 2009 12:05:43 PM

Now we will see if Lucas is willing to make the same sacrifice or whether he wants his money now rather than later.

Posted by: JV | Feb 24, 2009 1:19:02 PM

completley agree truefan

Posted by: yer | Feb 24, 2009 1:20:51 PM

amen truefan...amen!

Posted by: Nebcatfan | Feb 24, 2009 1:23:04 PM


Don't you mean does Lucas want some money now or find himself at home? :)

Posted by: LittleKing | Feb 24, 2009 2:06:59 PM

Players as a whole are only as good as their last game, they really made me proud,everybody knew Arizona had one wide receiver,they really aired larry out,they feared julius so much they played him head up

Posted by: mark | Feb 24, 2009 2:25:04 PM

Glad LJs back and the cap stuff worked out

Posted by: YessireeBob | Feb 24, 2009 2:34:08 PM

Hard to call this definitive before FA has even started, but the latest word is that Haynesworth will be signing with the Redskins for around 6 years and $100 mil.

TF, you should probably note that most of these "reworked" deals that "save the team money" actually guarantee more money (and faster) to the player. Guaranteed money can be prorated over the length of the deal. I am glad, though, to see Landon stick around. He was really too cheap to cut anyway, and he's shown that, at his best (in Cincinnati), he's a far superior player to what Diggs is at this point in his career (steady, but CLEARLY unspectacular.)

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 24, 2009 4:21:03 PM

I think this is a good move. Why not keep a good special teams player. He was the reason we one the New Orleans game. If you take the score away we would have lost.

Posted by: Nick | Feb 24, 2009 4:43:34 PM

Procton, oh yes, fully aware that these guys get their money no matter what, but just glad to see that they have the courtesy to help when they are asked rather than saying the alternative.

Saw the news on Haynesworth's proposed deal...How could you not sign that?

Posted by: TrueFan | Feb 24, 2009 4:43:46 PM

Patt Yastinkas is also dropping the hint that Lucas will be traded instead of cut.

Posted by: Scott | Feb 24, 2009 5:07:50 PM

who would want ken"sorry i keep getting burnt" lucas in a trade.

Posted by: truthbtold21 | Feb 24, 2009 5:20:15 PM

NFL scouts, who, given that they know more than you, realize he's an above-average starting corner in the NFL, particularly when there isn't a player on his D-line who's a pass-rush black hole 80% of the time.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 24, 2009 8:15:04 PM

This is what the average fan doesn't understand about Fox ball. His defensive scheme relies heavily on a pass rush from the front-four down linemen. If those front-four, such as back in '03, are able to get that pass rush consistently and from inside and outside, then the back 7 are able to wreak havoc on the opposing offense roaming the field and playing to the ball, which, once again, was the case back in '03. Name those DB's from that team and what they have done since they parted ways with Carolina. A great defensive line makes everything else so easy on D. If the Panthers could revitalize that line, our back 7, which I would rank as a top 5 in the league and definitely top 10, would have a field day with opposing QB's. You can call it being stubborn that Fox doesn't blitz more often, but you leave yourself open for huge mistakes when doing so, and when is scheme can be implemented it's golden, history proves it.

Posted by: mountaineerdynasty | Feb 24, 2009 11:19:02 PM

Do we even know if Diggs is coming back next season. I thought Johnson pushed him very well because Diggs played very well this season.

Posted by: Trey Griffin | Feb 25, 2009 10:04:20 AM

Congrats Landon! Good Luck!

Posted by: Adam | Feb 25, 2009 10:29:42 AM

Trey, Diggs is under contract for $2 mil or less the next two seasons. For a decent (if not spectacular) starter, that's very reasonable, and it'd be shocking to see him be cut unless he gets hurt or loses his starting gig.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 25, 2009 11:37:33 AM

I love signing of Landon. With him and Dan Connors we have are loaded at LB. landon as 140+ tackles two years before joining panthers. I believe this allows us to let Seward and J Anderson, who are restricted walk. Then is someone takes them we get a draft pick for them as restricted free agents.

Posted by: Larry | Feb 25, 2009 4:51:10 PM

I agree with trading lucas as long as the compensation is right and id sign seward and Anderson to the tender that gives us compensation if matched...just seems wise.

Posted by: randy | Feb 25, 2009 5:10:35 PM

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