BY SPNW Staff 09:39AM 04/12/2018

Seahawks sign ex-Niners CB Dontae Johnson

The Seahawks have signed free agent CB Dontae Johnson, 26, who started all 16 games last season for San Francisco. Johnson became expendable in the Bay Area after the 49ers signed CB Richard Sherman, a three-time All-Pro who had been released by Seattle.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Johnson, who also visited with the Minnesota Vikings, was a fourth-round pick in 2014 out of North Carolina State. His inking gives Seattle three corners (also Shaquill Griffin and Justin Coleman) who were starters for most of the 2017 season.

Seattle has seven corners on the roster, including DeAndre Elliott, Neiko Thorpe, Mike Tyson and Akeem King, the latter also considered a safety.

Unrestricted free agent CB Byron Maxwell, who ended the 2017 season as a starting corner for the Seahawks, remains unsigned, as does Jeremy Lane, who was released in March.

Johnson started 22 of the 63 games in which he played for the 49ers. He has two career interceptions, including one off QB Blake Bortles of Jacksonville last year that he returned for a touchdown in a 44-33 victory. Johnson also has two career fumble recoveries. Pro Football Focus graded out Johnson at 36.9, a ranking labeled “poor” in its five levels of categories for veteran players.

Johnson is the eighth free agent signed by the Seahawks since the new league year began in mid-March.

While the Seahawks landed Johnson, they also lost linebacker Terence Garvin, a backup  who signed with the Miami Dolphins. Garvin made three starts for Seattle last season.


Free agents signed

Date Player Pos. ’17 AAV New Deal
Mar 14 Barkevious Mingo DE $3.4M 2 years, $6.8M
Mar 16 Ed Dickson TE $1.95M 3 years, $14M
Mar 16 Jaron Brown WR $1.3M 2 years, $5.5M
Mar 16 Maurice Alexander S $528K 1 year, $880K
Mar 20 D.J. Fluker OL $3M N/A
Mar 23 Tom Johnson DT $2.33M 1 year, $2.1M
Mar 25 Shamar Stephen DT $823K 1 year / $N/A
April 11 Dontae Johnson CB $690K  N/A

Free agents retained

Date Player Pos. ’17 AAV New Deal
Mar 14 B. McDougald S $1.8M 3 years, $13.95M
Mar 14 Dion Jordan DE $366K 1 year, $1.9M
Mar 14 Justin Coleman CB $615K 1 year, $2.9M
Mar 22 Mike Davis RB $615K 1 year, $ TBA
Mar 22 Marcus Smith DE $990K 1 year, $2.7M

Free agents lost

Date Player Team ’17 AAV New Deal
Mar 14 Jimmy Graham GB $10M 3 years, $30M
Mar 14 Paul Richardson WA $1.4M 5 years, $40M
Mar 14 DeShawn Shead Det $1.2M 1 year, $3.5M
Mar 16 Sheldon Richardson Min $3.6M 1 year, $8M
Mar 21 Luke Willson Det $1.8M 1 year, $2.5M
Mar 23 Matt Tobin NE $872K 1 year, $ N/A
April 11 Terence Garvin LB $775K N/A

Remaining free agents

Date Player Pos. AAV 2017 Season/Skinny
—– Luke Joeckel LG 8M Missed 5 games with injuries
—– Eddie Lacy RB 4.25M Bust: 179 yards, 0 TDs
—– Michael Wilhoite LB 1.55M Best beard on team
—– Blair Walsh K 1.1M Eight FG misses
—– Oday Aboushi RG 975K Played 8 games before injury
—– Austin Davis QB 855K Played two snaps, but a veteran
—– Byron Maxwell CB 755K Played well in spurts

*=Includes incentives


  • Ron
    • art thiel

      The ESPN story claims the Seahawks haven’t closed the door, but I think they have.

  • jafabian

    They get Sherman, we get Johnson. Doesn’t seem right.

    • Matt Kite

      Don’t know much about Johnson — other than he was benched late last season. But the optics on this are awful. We lose Sherman, one of the best in the league, and then sign one of San Francisco’s weakest starters. Maybe he’ll give us some depth, but if he’s not a quality player, what’s the point? And do we lose a compensation pick by doing this? Ugh.

      • jafabian

        Probably to put pressure on Maxwell since he’s yet to sign.

        • art thiel

          Maxwell isn’t drawing a crowd of takers, so I’m not sure he’s worth pressuring.

          • jafabian

            Since he hasn’t signed with the Hawks yet I’m assuming he’s haggling over the numbers in the contract offer and Schneider won’t have patience for that. If he doesn’t sign by the draft he isn’t returning IMO.

      • Ron

        The point is that we are tanking this coming year. We will have nearly $80 million in available cap space, and a top ten draft pick heading into the 2019 season to improve our lot in 2019. And if we take a QB with that draft pick, and trade away Russell Wilson, we could have $100 million in cap space.

        • art thiel

          I don’t see these guys tanking, especially before they’re through with the draft.

          • Ron

            Your own story implies otherwise…

            “Pro Football Focus graded out Johnson at 36.9, a ranking labeled “poor” in its five levels of categories for veteran players.”

      • art thiel

        Not a player who would draw compensation. But he did seem to draw opponents’ throws. Pro Footbball Focus ranked him 118th among CBs.

    • art thiel

      Johnson is healthy. There’s that.