The Giants added a free agent at one of their deepest positions on the roster on Thursday, agreeing to terms with defensive tackle and New Jersey product Austin Johnson on a one-year deal, a source confirmed. The Athletic was the first to report the agreement, which is contingent upon a physical.
As with just about every free agent acquisition the Giants have made this offseason, Johnson comes with someone on the coaching staff or in the front office to vouch for him. He played two of his three seasons at Penn State under position coach Sean Spencer, who is now the defensive line coach for the Giants.
A second-round pick by the Titans in 2016, Johnson is a 6-4, 314-pound interior lineman who is best suited to help stop the run. He’s played in 58 regular-season games with 13 starts and in five postseason games with one start and has not missed a game in any of the past three seasons. He has 82 career tackles, 2.5 sacks and five passes batted down.
Johnson joins a defensive front that includes Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, B.J. Hill and Leonard Williams. The Giants used the franchise tag on Williams to keep him from testing the market in free agency earlier this month. They are hoping to negotiate a long-term deal with Williams and currently have until mid-July to do so.