Dallas signs suspended Tank Johnson

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

IRVING, Texas -- Suspended defensive tackle Tank Johnson signed a two-year contract Tuesday with the Dallas Cowboys.

Johnson, who played the last three seasons for the Chicago Bears, can't play for the Cowboys until he completes his eight-game NFL suspension for violating probation on a gun charge. He has served the first two games of that suspension.

Johnson signed after visiting with the Cowboys (2-0) and taking a physical.

"For a lot of reasons, he really just felt the Cowboys were the right fit," said Johnson's agent, Jerrold Colton. "He's so thankful to them for giving him this opportunity. He is very determined to prove they made a wise decision in believing in him."

Johnson could provide late-season depth on a defensive line that lost starting nose tackle Jason Ferguson for the year because of a torn right biceps in the opener.

Although Johnson can't work out with the team until his suspension ends, the team must make room for him on the 53-man roster.

The Bears released Johnson on June 25, three days after he was pulled over by police in Arizona. He already had served a two-month jail term for the gun charge and been suspended by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

Falcons sign Leftwich

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons signed former Jacksonville quarterback Byron Leftwich on Tuesday, giving the team immediate depth and a potential contender for the starting job.

Leftwich's agent, Tom Condon, said the former first-round draft pick passed a physical, worked out for the team and signed a two-year, $7 million deal.

The Falcons needed help. Joey Harrington, who took over as the starter when Michael Vick was suspended by the NFL, has lost his first two starts with Atlanta and the offense has scored only 10 points.

Harrington's current backups are Chris Redman, who has not played in an NFL game since 2003, and Casey Bramlet, whose only professional experience came in Europe.

Leftwich, 27, was cut by Jacksonville in a surprise preseason move when the Jaguars chose David Garrard as their starter.

-- The Associated Press

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