Defensive back James Johnson, left, recorded a record three interceptions in Saskatchewan's 2007 Grey Cup win over Winnipeg. ((John Woods/Canadian Press))

Player movement in the Canadian Football League on Monday wasn't restricted to free-agent signings as the 2007 Grey Cup MVP found himself changing divisions.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders dealt defensive back James Johnson to Winnipeg for a 2011 Canadian college draft pick.

"He's a proven starter in this league," Blue Bombers head coach Mike Kelly said in a statement. "We think with his experience and type of player he is, that he fits the mould that we're looking for.

"We're excited that he decided to join the right side of the Banjo Bowl."

The five-foot-seven, 180-pound Johnson collected 39 defensive tackles, three interceptions and a fumble recovery last season.

In the 2007 Grey Cup, the Los Angeles native posted a record three pickoffs, returning one for 30 yards and a touchdown, in a 23-19 win over the Blue Bombers at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

It marked the first time since 1994 that a defensive player had captured MVP honours in the CFL's championship game.

Johnson joined the Riders as a free agent in 2006 and had spent the last three seasons in Regina.

He only began playing football at West Los Angeles Junior College, making the team as a defensive back after being switched from running back. He eventually landed a scholarship to Arkansas State University.