According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the New Orleans Saints are signing kicker Brian Johnson off the Chicago Bears’ practice squad. The Bears have protected Johnson the last few weeks, but with the weekly protected list not becoming official until this afternoon, practice squad players have a window of free agency where they are able to negotiate elsewhere.
With the Saints placing Cody Parkey on injured reserve today, their needs lined up with snagging Johnson from the Bears.
Chicago could have counteroffered with a 53-man roster contract to keep Johnson, but with current placekicker Cairo Santos performing so well (34 straight FGs) there is no need to do that. Johnson, a UDFA from Virginia Tech, looked good in camp and throughout preseason for the Bears which is whey they wanted to keep him around as long as possible.
If the Saints don’t keep him on their roster for at least three weeks he’ll revert to the Bears by rule, but in the meantime don’t be surprised to see the Bears work out a few kickers as insurance.