All hope hasn’t been lost in Tampa Bay, as it appears the Buccaneers have agreed to a deal with one of the most sought-after free agent defensive linemen. Former Cincinnati Bengals pass rusher Michael Johnson appears headed to Florida, according to reports.
More specifics: Sources: DE Michael Johnson has agreed to a 5-year, $43.75M deal with 24M guaranteed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 11, 2014
The former third-round pick from Georgia Tech recorded just 3.5 sacks for the Bengals last season after tallying 11.5 the previous season. With an average base salary of $8.8 million and $24 million guaranteed, Tampa Bay may have overpaid for his services.
It must be noted that the Buccaneers accumulated a total of 35 sacks last season. So they definitely needed to focus on getting an edge rusher to contribute on the defensive side of the ball in Lovie Smith’s new defensive scheme.
At 27 year old, Johnson is just hitting the prime of his career. With extended playing time in Tampa Bay, there is no reason to believe he can’t put up double-digit sacks on a consistent basis.
Photo: Andrew Weber, USA Today