Lions officially give a tender offer to DE George Johnson

After saying at the NFL combine last month that the Detroit Lions were planning on tendering restricted free agent George Johnson, the franchise officially made that offer Friday.

Johnson is receiving an original round tender, worth $1.54 million, for the 2015 season. Since Johnson was undrafted out of Rutgers in 2010, if another team decides to make him an offer and the Lions decline to match, the team will receive nothing as compensation for his departure.

Johnson signed with Detroit as a free agent during spring workouts last season and was initially a longshot to make the club. Johnson ended up making the Lions and having a career year.

Playing alongside Ndamukong Suh, Ezekiel Ansah, Jason Jones and Nick Fairley, Johnson had 26 tackles, six sacks and a fumble recovery. He had seven tackles and no sacks prior to this season.

He spent 2010, 2011 and part of 2012 with Tampa Bay before going to Minnesota for the rest of 2012 and part of the 2013 season before being released. When the Vikings cut him, Johnson almost quit football and had he not made the Lions' squad in 2014, he was going to give up football because his family was hurting for money.

Instead, the 27-year-old ended up becoming a key part of Detroit's defensive line rotation that led the NFL in run defense.

Due to his performance in 2014, it is possible teams will try to make him offers when the new league year opens Tuesday in an effort to snag him away from Detroit. Should he stay with the Lions, he would likely resume his role as the No. 3 defensive end behind Ansah and Jones, a valuable position considering how often the franchise likes to rotate their defensive linemen.

The Lions also officially announced the exclusive rights tender for wide receiver Jeremy Ross -- something general manager Martin Mayhew said would happen at last month's NFL combine.