The move was first reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, who added the Seahawks are likely to re-sign Johnson next week.
A surprise move: The #Seahawks have informed starting DT Tom Johnson they're releasing him, per sources. They're beat up and need the roster spot. Johnson's salary is already guaranteed and they'll likely re-sign him next week. For now ... he's a free agent.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 15, 2018
Hit with injuries while carrying five DTs (excluding Quinton Jefferson) on the roster, Seattle is forced to allocate spots elsewhere. Despite starting Week 1, Johnson was ultimately the one sacrificed to make room.
Johnson was signed this past offseason on a one-year deal worth $2.1 million. As a veteran, Johnson’s salary is guaranteed for the season despite his release, as he was on the Seahawks’ roster for Week 1. As Pelissero noted, while Seattle is likely to re-sign Johnson next week, he’s now free to move on if he chooses.