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 Report: Lions Sign Bryant Johnson

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PostSubject: Report: Lions Sign Bryant Johnson   2/28/2009, 5:06 pm

After trading Roy Williams to the Dallas Cowboys prior to this year's trade deadline, the Detroit Lions had a need for a wide receiver to start opposite Calvin Johnson. On Saturday, Pro Football Talk reported the team has filled that void, in theory, by signing free agent Bryant Johnson to a three-year, $9 million deal.

Originally a first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2003, Johnson spent the 2008 season in San Francisco and caught 45 passes for 546 yards and three touchdowns.

I'm guessing the signing of Johnson means Nate Washington, who visited Detroit on Friday, won't be signing with the Lions. While Johnson is hardly a great receiver, he might be a better fit as a starter in Detroit. Washington has tremendous straight-line speed and is a nice deep threat, but he struggles to make the routine plays and can be somewhat inconsistent.

In (Calvin) Johnson, the Lions already have one of the league's best big-play receivers, and are in need of someone who can work the middle of the field, an area Washington struggles.

According to the numbers at Football Outsiders, (Bryant) Johnson caught 60 percent of the passes thrown his direction in 2008, while Washington caught only 51 percent.

It's the second free agent signing of the offseason for the Lions, as they agreed to terms with running back Maurice Morris on Friday.

- www.nfl.fanhouse.com

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