Bears sign 2nd-round pick

LAKE FOREST, IL — While the Bears might have problems getting their first-round pick into training camp on time, the same can't be said for second-round selection Tank Johnson.

The Bears signed a five-year contract with Johnson, who was the 47th overall pick, Monday. The deal is worth around $3.8 million with a signing bonus of $1.72 million.

From the onset of training camp Johnson will be among the team's top defensive tackle with a chance to secure a starting job if he develops quickly. Tommie Harris is likely to be the first rookie to crack the starting lineup, but a contract holdout would hurt his chances.

Johnson is the third of the Bears' eight 2004 draft picks to reach a contract agreement, joining fourth-round picks Nathan Vasher and Leon Joe.

Johnson is the 30th of the 255 selections from the 2004 NFL Draft to sign a contract and is the second-highest overall selection to sign. Chicago currently stands as one of only five teams to have three or more players signed.

A second-team All-Pac 10 honoree as a senior, Johnson played both defensive end and tackle during his collegiate career at Washington after beginning his Huskie tenure as a tight end. Johnson sat out his freshman year and switched positions during fall camp of his sophomore season.

After moving to the defensive side of the ball, the 6-3, 300-pounder started 23 of 35 games played while registering 64 tackles (43 solos), 15 sacks, 29 tackles for loss, two pass break-ups, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception. Johnson scored a defensive touchdown each year he played, highlighted by a 38-yard interception return in the Holiday Bowl during his sophomore season.

Harris (1st round, 14th overall), wide receiver Bernard Berrian (3rd, 78th), defensive end Claude Harriott (5th, 147th), quarterback Craig Krenzel (5th, 148th) and cornerback Alfonso Marshall (7th, 215th) are the five remaining Bears draft choices that have not signed.

Bear Report Top Stories