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Buccaneers making a big bid for Michael Johnson

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Getty Images

With many of the top free agent pass-rushers taken off the markets by their own teams, the movement figures to be fast for the few remaining young options.

And one of them may be flying south.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Buccaneers are “serious discussions” with Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson.

New Bucs coach Lovie Smith needs pass-rushers to make his system work, and Johnson’s one of the few of substantial resume available.

With Greg Hardy franchise-tagged by the Panthers and Michael Bennett (Seahawks) and Everson Griffen (Vikings) already agreeing to long-term deals, Johnson’s the star of the defensive end marketplace.

Though he dipped to 3.5 sacks last year, the 11.5 he put on the board in 2012 (which earned him the Bengals franchise tag) will get him paid, quickly and well.

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18 Responses to “Buccaneers making a big bid for Michael Johnson”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Mar 11, 2014 10:03 AM

    The Buccaneers are so pathetic. How do you trade the ranch for a player for ONE YEAR RENTAL OF 13 MILLION DOLLARS LOL!!! I can’t believe the Bucs are even an operating team in the NFL. #ThankGodImaRedskinFan

  2. bucthat says: Mar 11, 2014 10:03 AM

    Scared to pay him huge money from what he did last season but we need a pass rush. Pretty excited knowing his upside its a nice pull for the Bucs if we can land him

  3. doctorrustbelt says: Mar 11, 2014 10:06 AM

    Johnson’s stats dipped due to All-Pro Leon Hall’s injury.

    All-Pro shutdown corner Leon Hall made opposing quarterbacks spend more time checking down.

    Geno Atkins injury was no joke… but… the thin Bengals secondary could be abused QUICKLY without All-Pro Leon Hall and injured Terence Newman.

  4. ed3557 says: Mar 11, 2014 10:10 AM

    I love Johnson and he’s had a good career with the Bengals; his pass deflections is a stat that isn’t talked about much, but he has a ton of them over the course of a season; that said, his big production came when Geno Atkins was playing before his injury and was commanding so much attention; if the Bucs can get great DT players to complement him, it would be an excellent signing; if not, maybe just a decent one..

  5. bucrightoff says: Mar 11, 2014 10:12 AM

    Strikes me as a guy who’s play will decline once he gets a big deal. I’d stay away if I was the Bucs, but as evidence from their total incompetence I expect he’ll be badly overpaid.

  6. cheapglazers says: Mar 11, 2014 10:14 AM

    Bucs will offer him the same as the Revis deal.

  7. ravenswhat says: Mar 11, 2014 10:14 AM

    Will geno Atkins come with him? Because he’s pretty avg when geno is injured or not around to free up a gap for him.

  8. bigtomstud84 says: Mar 11, 2014 10:15 AM

    Let’s not forget that the 11.5 sacks was when he was playing next to Geno and Geno was putting up 12.5 sacks himself. Without a great supporting cast MJ is just average.

    MJ
    2013 3.5 sacks 15 games/ 15 starts
    2012 11.5 16 games / 15 starts
    2011 6 sacks 16 games/5 starts
    2010 2.5 sacks 16 games/10 starts
    2009 3 sacks 16 games/ 0 starts

    Geno
    2013 6 sacks 9 games/9 starts
    2012 12.5 sacks 16 games/16 starts
    2011 7.5 sacks 16 games/15 starts
    2010 3 sacks 16 games /1 start

  9. purpleguy says: Mar 11, 2014 10:31 AM

    Interesting how Lovie is complaining that the Bucs players don’t fit his system when the standard of a good coach is one that adapts the system to the talents of the roster.

  10. doctorrustbelt says: Mar 11, 2014 10:33 AM

    Michael Johnson’s interruption of passing plays with his good instincts/vision, length, and jumping ability are never talked about (except by Cincinnati fans).

    Johnson will be missed.
    Gilberry… and… maybe… Hunt will fill in respectably.

  11. ryanrockzzz says: Mar 11, 2014 10:37 AM

    Wow, the Bucs just keep turning themselves into “Redskins south.” No way Johnson makes them a contender. Maybe it gets them to 8 wins.

    Johnson will be grossly overpaid because of his size (6’7′) rather than his ability (ONE double digit sack season).

    To call him a “pass rusher” basically ignores the fact Geno Atkins helped him get two times as many sacks as any other year in his career. Having a ton of money with a fat contract also has to question his motivation, which has been under scrutiny since he was a GA Tech.

    Some teams will never learn….

  12. theroc5156 says: Mar 11, 2014 10:39 AM

    He plays the run very well and bats a ton of passes down. Sacks aren’t everything. He is a high-character person as well. He will, of course, get overpaid, but the Bucs are getting a solid DE f who’s entering his prime.

    We will have to enjoy the 3rd round Comp pick next year.

  13. sellout1983 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:06 AM

    The way some people are talking, it’s almost like football is some sort of a “team” sport or something….

  14. beelicker says: Mar 11, 2014 11:13 AM

    As a Bengal fan I’d argue that he just used up 2 years of “his prime” & his stats would have ended up far better to have stayed within his own system

    Maybe he’s THE perfect fit for what Lovie Smith wants on D. OTOH J Peppers is going to be gone from the Bears now too

  15. dollarbill247 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:19 AM

    Johnson was touted as a first round talent in college but slipped to 3rd or 4th due to his lack of motor and/or taking plays off. I think he’s a tremendous talent but not a top tier guy by any means. He will definitely improve a defense. As a Bengals fan he will be missed but we have Gilberry, Dunlap and Margus Hunt as young up and comers. Bucc fans will be happy overall I think. Johnson still has great upside and Lovie will tap into that.

  16. celly84 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:21 AM

    So, for everyone stating that his only good year came when he was playing next to a healthy Atkins, you do realize that we have Gerald McCoy down here who was constantly double teamed every play, right?

    Considering the best year of BOTH players (Atkins and Johnson) came in the year they stayed healthy together (2012), I feel confident that Johnson and McCoy can raise each others’ level of play.

    Still think they should keep Revis, though. Even if its just for this year. We’re already giving up a draft pick for him. Unless we get 2 picks (including a 1st) he should stay.

    GoBucs.

  17. bengalsbilly says: Mar 11, 2014 11:23 AM

    I loved watching Michael play for both Tech and the Bengals, but I think he is about to get overpaid. He has had the same set of rush moves (or move) since college. Go outside and use speed and length to get behind the QB and reach back to get the sack or try to strip the ball. The reason his production slowed without Atkins is because the QB could step up in the pocket. With Atkins generally making a mess of the middle of the pocket, it was difficult for QBs to step up. Without Atkins opposing QBs could simply step up and away from the outside rush. That being said, the “effort” comments at the draft were simply unfounded – the guy played all defensive and special team snaps due to Tech’s lack of talent. A good, high-effort player, but not sure he is worth the $8 or $10 million that the Bucs are about to shell out.

  18. dellis2008 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:41 AM

    Mar 11, 2014 10:03 AM
    The Buccaneers are so pathetic. How do you trade the ranch for a player for ONE YEAR RENTAL OF 13 MILLION DOLLARS LOL!!! I can’t believe the Bucs are even an operating team in the NFL. #ThankGodImaRedskinFan
    .. Omg u people are talking after trading 3 1st rd picks for a qb that can’t stay heathy.. A qb that might not even have a 10 year career.. Oh let’s not for get about paying what his name 100 mil.. How did that work out for u.. I live in dc. Hearing the hype about the skins last year and look what they did.. I can’t talk tho cuz my team didn’t fair any better but WAIT WE HAVE OUR 1st rd pick.. Do u nope.. That’s rite the rams do.. I’m sure they are thanking the dumb skins for trading up.. And it’s not like revis is a bad player.. If u switch Richard Sherman with revis I would bet revis would still be the same player and Richard would not.. Switch Richard with Patrick Peterson and Patrick would be the same player and Richard would not..

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