According to several media outlets, including ESPN, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have already agreed to a new deal with former Cincinnati Bengals DE Michael Johnson. ESPN is reporting that the deal is worth $43.75 million for five years including $24 million in guaranteed money. Johnson was tagged with the franchise label in 2013 and while the Bengals have invested large contracts in other parts of the defensive line, it was obvious that Cincinnati could not afford another large investment.
Johnson’s work ethic has been questioned but the Buccaneers have been desperate to find an outside speed rusher from the end position.
In 2012, Johnson recorded 11.5 sacks but fell flat in 2013 with just 3.5. This is a risky move for the Buccaneers, but the market for outside speed rushers is slim and Tampa must improve it’s pass rush. Tampa’s new front office and head coach appear ready to blow up the roster and no player is exempt. CB Darrelle Revis is being openly shopped and rumored to be simply released before 4 p.m. Wednesday. . OG Davin Joseph has been released. OT Donald Penn is another candidate to be released as is S Dashon Goldson.