Patriots sign Leonard Johnson, boosting shallow CB depth

The Patriots signed former Bucs corner Leonard Johnson to boost depth.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

By Doug Kyed

FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots added veteran depth to their shallow cornerback corps Wednesday.

The Patriots signed free-agent Leonard Johnson to the 53-man roster. Johnson played 48 games with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2012 to 2014, recording 148 tackles, five interceptions, two touchdowns and five forced fumbles. Johnson was released from the Buccaneers’ injured reserve on Dec. 3.

Johnson spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons as the Buccaneers’ primary slot cornerback. The Patriots have had safeties Tavon Wilson and Patrick Chung fill that role since rookie cornerback Justin Coleman went down with a hand injury in Week 10.

The Patriots opened a spot on their 53-man roster when they cut Rashaan Melvin on Tuesday.

The Patriots also signed linebacker Eric Martin to their practice squad. The Patriots had an open spot on their practice squad after cutting tight end Joseph Fauria on Tuesday.

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