GREEN BAY, Wis., March 26 (UPI) -- The Green Bay Packers upgraded their defensive line Tuesday, signing two-time Pro Bowl end Joe Johnson to a multi-year contract.
Finanicial terms were not disclosed for the unrestriced free agent, who spent his first eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints.
Reports last week indicated the Packers had reached an agreement in principle with Johnson on a six-year contract which is worth $16 million in the first three years, including a $6 million signing bonus.
"I'm excited to finally announce the signing of Joe Johnson," Packers coach and general manager Mike Sherman said. "Joe brings with him a dimension of experience, toughness and savvy. I feel he is the most dominant defensive player in free agency this year and believe he will immediately impact our defense as a player and impact our team as a leader."
Johnson, 29, plays the run effectively and is a consistent pass rusher, recording 21 sacks over the last two seasons. He made the Pro Bowl in 1998 and 2000.
The 6-4, 270-pound Johnson has the ability to play end and tackle. He may start at right end opposite Vonnie Holliday and slide inside when Jamal Reynolds comes in as a pass-rushing end.
Johnson started 104 of 106 games in New Orleans, missing the entire 1999 season with a knee injury. He recovered to record a career-high 12 sacks in 2000 and nine this past season.
A 1994 first-round pick, Johnson has 50 1/2 career sacks.