Though he has yet to play in a regular-season game, Adam Johnson has previously intrigued the Panthers, Chiefs and Bengals with his long-snapping ability
The battle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' long-snapping job in 2007 has been joined. The newest competitor: former Kansas City Chief Adam Johnson, who was claimed off waivers by the Buccaneers.
Johnson, who had re-signed with Kansas City on February 12, was then released by the Chiefs on February 20th. The Bucs submitted a waiver claim the following day and the transaction was completed on Monday.
By landing Johnson, the Bucs have added the first-year player to a long-snapping competition that also includes second-year holdover Andrew Economos, who spent most of the 2006 season on injured reserve. The incumbent at the position, veteran tight end Dave Moore, is an unrestricted free agent who has yet to re-sign with the team.
The 6-5, 213-pound Johnson first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Buffalo. Signed by Carolina after the 2004 draft, he spent his rookie season on the Panthers' practice squad, then re-signed after the season and went back to training camp with the club in 2005. Released at the end of the '05 preseason, Johnson sat out that season but signed with the Chiefs at the beginning of the 2006 offseason. He then spent the first half of the '06 campaign on Kansas City's practice squad before a brief November stint with the Cincinnati Bengals' practice squad. He returned to the Chiefs' practice squad in time for the Wild Card weekend of the 2006 playoffs.
At Buffalo, Johnson played wide receiver and quarterback in addition to long-snapper. A high school quarterback in Rancho Cucamonga, California, he started out as a passer at Chaffey Junior College before transferring to Buffalo. For the Bulls, he primarily played wide receiver and handled the long-snapping duties in his final two seasons.
Johnson's uncle, Bob Johnson, played 12 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals (1968-79) after being selected second overall in the 1968 draft. Bob Johnson played center at the University of Tennessee, as did Adam's father, Paul, and another of his uncles, Tom.
Moore, who was the NFC's long-snapper in February's Pro Bowl, has handled those duties for Tampa Bay since returning from the Buffalo Bills as a free agent in 2004. He suffered a chest injury early in the 2006 season and was replaced for three games by Economos, who later incurred his own knee injury and was placed on injured reserve.