Saints bring back key weapon for Derek Carr days after his arrival

The New Orleans Saints wisely brought back Joan Johnson after signing Derek Carr.

On the heels of the coming of Derek Carr from the Las Vegas Raiders in his free agency, the New Orleans Saints made another wise decision to retain tight end Juwan Johnson.

NFL Network’s Tom Bellicero reported Saturday night that Johnson will return with the Saints on a two-year, $12 million, $8.5 million guaranteed deal. He was slated to hit restricted free agency, but Bellisero added that this is essentially a one-year extension worth $9.373 million plus the lower bid. Johnson sticks to the saints.

As far as Carr is concerned, he has always been very much on his tight ends professionally.

The two-year new #Saints TE Juwan Johnson deal is worth $12 million, including $8.5 million fully guaranteed, per source.

Johnson would have been an RFA, so in essence, that’s a one-year, $9.373 million extension on top of the lower bid. Maximum value of $14.5 million over two years with the elevator.

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 11, 2023

Johnson is coming off a breakout season with 42 catches for 508 yards and seven touchdowns.

New Orleans Saints bring back Joanne Johnson in the wake of signing Derek Carr

Again, this is another smart move by the Saints front office. Mickey Loomis is on his way to becoming a celebrity in the division. Although the Saints have faded over the past few seasons, they are probably the favorites to win the NFC South title at this point in the offseason. No, that’s not a good split, but someone has to win it, so why shouldn’t New Orleans win?

While it would be hard to say Carr would develop a similar relationship as he and Darren Waller in Las Vegas, he does like to deal with the tight end a lot. More than that, Carr likes to throw playmakers into the slot. Dennis Allen may be a defensive coach, but he knows what he has in Carr. Keep in mind, he was Carr’s first NFL head coach when he was recruited by Oakland in 2014.

Overall, signing Johnson isn’t what will get the Saints past the top division, or in the NFC, but it’s another step in line with what they’re trying to build. This is a team that is definitely capable of winning more than 12 games with Carr. If they get the game right, the Saints can win a playoff game or two. Having more consistency in offense should go a long way for them.

With Carr throwing the ball to him, Johnson looked for a gain of nearly 750 yards.

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