The Denver Broncos first move to fill out their 16-man practice squad was to bring back quarterback Josh Johnson. Mike Klis of 9News has reported that the team will sign him to the practice squad today.
Josh Johnson is signing back to Broncos practice squad this morning per source. He has 9 years of NFL service time so his pro-rated practice-squad salary will be in 300K neighborhood. Broncos continue with same 3 QBs they’ve had since March. #9sports— Mike Klis (@mikeklis) August 31, 2022
As a veteran, Johnson became an immediate free agent when the Broncos released him on Tuesday. He is free to sign with any team. As a member of the practice squad, the Broncos will pay Johnson somewhere between $15,400 and $19,900 a week per the practice squad rules for 2022.
Johnson, 36, found himself in a heated quarterback battle for the backup spot behind Russell Wilson. He completed 66% of his passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns. He also didn’t throw any interceptions. Ultimately, it would seem Brett Rypien won that job, but Denver still liked Johnson enough to bring him back to continue with the team as a member the practice squad.
Broncos’ general manager George Paton explained how the team decided to go with Rypien over Johnson, but he noted he felt it was close.
“It was really tough. Brett [Rypien] and Josh [Johnson] had a great competition,” Paton said on Tuesday. “It came down to the final game. The body at work, both these guys did a lot of really good things. I just think the way ‘Ryp’ (Brett Rypien) operated the offense, the way he moved the team, he did some really good things. I’ll let [Head] Coach [Nathaniel] Hackett talk about the rest of that, but it was a really close competition. We hope to get Josh [Johnson] back as well.”
That could be why both players are now still with the team to start the season. Paton was able to keep both as he said he wanted to on Tuesday.