Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said, via ESPN.com, during a Saturday press conference that Johnson has been “one of those pillars that has been here and has given everything he can to this building” during his two stints with the Bengals. He also said that Johnson could return to the team on a new contract once the team works through other roster issues.
Those issues include a pair of injured players. Wide receiver Cody Core and cornerback Davontae Harris are both injured and could be candidates for injured reserve now that they’d be eligible to return after eight weeks on the list. They only kept eight defensive linemen, which makes that an area they could address when and if they make a roster move with Core or Harris.
Because Johnson is a vested veteran, he will not go through waivers so the team doesn’t run the risk that someone else will nab him without a chance to make a case for returning.