Charles Johnson seemed to have gained some stability for the first time in career last year.
The wide receiver emerged as the Vikings No. 1 target last year in his second season, though he didn’t even start the season with the team. Johnson won’t have to worry about getting cut and being placed on a practice squad out of training camp for the first time in his career, but that fact doesn’t satisfy him.
“In this business, you’re never secure,” Johnson said. “You never want to lie down and say, ‘Hey, I made it.’ I’m always working, and we’re always working together. Nobody here has been handed anything, and we’re just ready to come out here and work and become the best players we can be.”
The Vikings signed Johnson off the Browns practice squad in Week 3. He finished with 31 catches for 475 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 15.3 yards per catch.
Johnson, a seventh round pick in 2013 by the Packers, was signed off Green’s Bay’s practice squad by the Browns during offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s only season in Cleveland. Johnson spent his entire rookie season rehabbing from a torn ACL and was placed on the Browns practice squad out of training camp last year before he was reunited with his old offensive coordinator in the Twin Cities.
“CJ has picked up where he left off in December and he’s having a good spring,” Turner said.
Johnson won’t technically be labeled as the No. 1 receiver with the Vikings trading for Mike Wallace from the Dolphins, but he’s expected to have a big role in the offense. Johnson built a rapport with Teddy Bridgewater once he took over as the starting “X” receiver over Cordarrelle Paterson, and the chemistry continued throughout OTAs and minicamp this offseason.
“When I was with Green Bay and first went to practice and seen how [quarterback] Aaron Rodgers orchestrated the offense, it wowed me and amazed me,” Johnson said. “He’s one of the great quarterbacks in this league. I know Teddy’s look up to him as another player to watch, and I can see Teddy growing in that aspect. I can see him having the same type of similarities that Aaron Rodgers demands when he gets to the huddle.”