The Denver Broncos have added linebacker Riall Johnson to the roster, head coach Mike Shanahan announced on Monday.
Johnson, 6-3, 250 pounds, is a three-year veteran
who collected 11 tackles (4 solo) and 27 special-teams stops in 32 games (1
start) as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals from 2001-03. He signed with the
Arizona Cardinals on April 1, 2004, but was released by the team Aug. 16. A
sixth-round draft choice (168th overall) by the Bengals in 2001, Johnson spent
the majority of his first two seasons in the NFL on special teams and recorded
15 tackles in 19 games played during that span. In 2003, he had 12 special-teams
stops and made his first defensive contributions with 11 tackles (4 solo) in 13
games. The Bengals waived Johnson during his rookie season on Oct. 27, 2001, but
he re-signed with the team two days later. He initially was allocated to NFL
Europe in 2002 with the Barcelona Dragons, but he did not play with the team
because of a calf injury. He later joined NFL Europe's Amsterdam Admirals that
season and appeared in five games.
Playing collegiately at Stanford, where he earned a bachelor's degree in sociology, Johnson was a three-year starter and played in 43 of 44 possible games from 1997-2000 after redshirting as a true freshman in 1996. He finished his career with the distinction of being the only player in Pac-10 history to lead the league in sacks two consecutive years with 15 in 2000 and 13 in 1999. As a senior, he was named first-team All-Pac-10 as well as second-team All-American by Football News after he tied for the NCAA sacks lead with 15 (-110 yards) and totaled 20 tackles for a loss (-130 yards). He began his Cardinal career as a defensive end, playing the 1997 and 1998 seasons at that position before switching to outside linebacker.
Riall Johnson was born April 20, 1978, in White Rock, British Columbia. A citizen of both Canada and the United States, he played football at Mariner High School in Lynnwood, Wash.