Bears sign Johnson, Tafoya; Release Lemons

LAKE FOREST, IL - The Chicago Bears signed running back Leon Johnson and defensive end Joe TaFoya today and released linebacker Devin Lemons from the practice squad.

Johnson was signed to the 53-man roster while TaFoya was signed to the practice squad.

Johnson, originally drafted in the fourth round in 1997 by the N.Y. Jets, played for three seasons in New York before sitting out the 2000 season with a knee injury.

The 6-0, 218 pounder out of North Carolina earned several all-rookie team honors following the '97 season mainly for his special teams play. He set a new Jets record for most punt return yards with 619 yards on 51 returns.

Johnson played in 31 games in three season with two starts and amassed 343 yards rushing on 89 carries (3.9 ypc) with four touchdowns and had 29 receptions for 364 yards (12.6 ypc)and two touchdowns.

TaFoya, a rookie free agent out of Tampa Bay, was drafted in the seventh round of the 2001 Draft out of Arizona where he was a two-time All-Pac10 performer with 24.5 sacks and 165 career tackles.


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