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Report: Bucs, Michael Johnson have already agreed to deal

michaeljohnson AP

Technically, NFL teams aren’t allowed to reach an agreement on a contract with an unrestricted free agent until unrestricted free agency officially opens today at 4 p.m. Eastern. In reality, teams and agents have been negotiating for the last three days, and in some cases the agreements are already done.

In the case of the Buccaneers and free agent defensive end Michael Johnson, Josina Anderson of ESPN reports that they’ve already agreed to a five-year, $43.75 million deal, with $24 million guaranteed. The deal can’t be announced until free agency officially opens in five hours, but that doesn’t stop the two sides from having an understanding.

If the Bucs have already come to an agreement with a free agent, they’ve technically broken the rules. But the rules just aren’t realistic. The whole point of team executives and agents talking right now is to try to reach an agreement on a contract.

In this case, the Bucs and Johnson have apparently reached an agreement a little early. Johnson should be a good fit in Lovie Smith’s defense, even if Smith still has to wait five more hours before he can officially say so.

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46 Responses to “Report: Bucs, Michael Johnson have already agreed to deal”
  1. chc4 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:16 AM

    Good, just glad my team didn’t waste that $ on him.

  2. logicalvoicesays says: Mar 11, 2014 11:17 AM

    I’ve signed with Tampa Bay is translation for I’m offically retiring from the NFL and hopes of ever winning a championship. Enjoy Michael, you lay back, get fat and collect them checks player. #OnlytheBucs

  3. aaronfraudgers says: Mar 11, 2014 11:20 AM

    Good signing by the Bucs. I think they really underachieved last year, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them in the playoff race this year.

    Vikings fan

  4. evilglazers666 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:21 AM

    3 sacks last year equates to 2.9 million per sack if that is the pace for the next 5 years plus a potential loss of a draft pick for cheating. Nice work Glazers!

  5. bucrightoff says: Mar 11, 2014 11:21 AM

    Franchise is totally incompetent. Could have had Michael Bennett signed last year for a 5 or 6 year deal for $35-40 million. Bennett is the better player. But that’s the Bucs, the Glazers owe it to the fans to sell.

  6. ubepunkedagain says: Mar 11, 2014 11:22 AM

    Lovie needs all the defense he can get because his offense is consistently among the worst in the league. I can’t believe someone hired this guy to be a HC again. He is a DC the same way Turner is an OC and Crennel is a DC. Some guys just aren’t good Head Coaches and Lovie is one of them.

  7. packerbackernj says: Mar 11, 2014 11:23 AM

    What?! He’s not joining the Vikings dyanasty with his former defensive coor as head coach?! Impossible! Guess everyone knows what a dumpster fire the vikings truely are.

  8. mykpfsu says: Mar 11, 2014 11:23 AM

    Or his agent is trying to get a better deal by leaking the numbers. Which quite frankly he should be doing.

  9. buchopeful says: Mar 11, 2014 11:24 AM

    Good deal!

  10. cincy85 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:24 AM

    NO JOHNSON COME BACK TO CINCY!!

  11. drock36 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:26 AM

    Bennett was a bargain!

  12. mrbigg513 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:26 AM

    We will miss u mike j who dey next………… Wallace gilberry and margus hunt 6’8″ Estonian

  13. bhagos2 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:27 AM

    Finally a pass Rusher! Now we need to go out a get McCown, Tillman and Anthony Collins.

  14. blingmonay says: Mar 11, 2014 11:28 AM

    So pretty much the same deal that the Bengals offered him last year?

  15. daltongang1 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:28 AM

    Wow that’s a lot of coin for 3.5 sacks. I like MJ a lot but 2012 was a fluke, this guy has been a 5 or 6 sack guy his while career, and I’m glad the Bengals didn’t over pay for him…. By the way his backup off the bench, Wilberry, had double his sacks in about 1/3 the snaps… And we got him for just $3 million…

  16. greenbaydean says: Mar 11, 2014 11:29 AM

    $8.75 million per year for a very good pass rusher is a great signing for Tampa. Wasn’t that long ago Peppers and Williams were getting $16M per year. Well done Lovie, well done…

  17. glenno08 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:29 AM

    So it is alright for Lovie to break the rule……..
    Just sayin

  18. mcmeen0576 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:30 AM

    Cincinatti will re-sign him within the hour now. #MichaelBennettLogic

  19. ejm845 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:32 AM

    they had to over pay him because of new uniforms

  20. huskersrock1 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:33 AM

    That is a lot of money to pay for last years production, probably would have been better off drafting someone.

  21. h3min1230 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:33 AM

    Rumor has it Revis and New England have come to an agreement. 5 yr/ 40 mill/ 30 guarenteed is what I’m hearing.

    LOLZ!

  22. theclink12 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:35 AM

    The Michael Bennett contract is looking better for Seattle by the minute. They only had to go four years with 16 million guaranteed compared to this deal for 5 years and 24 million guaranteed.

  23. lgbarn says: Mar 11, 2014 11:35 AM

    Welcome to Tampa. The weather is beautiful and no state tax.

  24. tillihawk says: Mar 11, 2014 11:36 AM

    So does this mean they have broken the “unwritten rules” like the Cowboys and Redskins (the uncapped year) ? So if Goddell doesn’t like them they will get a huge penalty… If that were the Giants they would be ok cause Goddell loves them.

  25. kinggator says: Mar 11, 2014 11:42 AM

    I love his time in the 200M & 400M and +1 for the gold shoes!

  26. romosmicrodongs says: Mar 11, 2014 11:47 AM

    The league should strip the Bucs of 36 million for violating the spirit of the free agency

  27. samoanjungle says: Mar 11, 2014 11:57 AM

    He is a good player but, after last year, I’d say they are way overpaying. Think about it – that was his contract year and he only managed 3.5 sacks on a D-Line that gets a LOT of pressure on QBs. Suffice it to say, any player can get a few sacks a year if other guys are chasing the QB into their arms.

  28. spkriegs says: Mar 11, 2014 11:59 AM

    It would take a minimum of $24 million guaranteed to get me to wear those butt-ugly uniforms.

  29. dellis2008 says: Mar 11, 2014 12:02 PM

    Sad day to be a bucs fan.. Overpay a d lineman but cut the best cornerback in league because he is over paid.. I don’t know what’s going on SMH..# I’mabucsfan

  30. thraiderskin says: Mar 11, 2014 12:02 PM

    As long as its not the Skins or Boys breaking rules, there shouldn’t be an issue.

  31. campbellscottb says: Mar 11, 2014 12:07 PM

    fwiw, wikipedia already has him in there as a member of the bucs.

  32. realnflmaster says: Mar 11, 2014 12:10 PM

    This guy is terrible

  33. believeland2014 says: Mar 11, 2014 12:12 PM

    Really? For a guy who only had 3.5 sacks? lol

  34. marty2020 says: Mar 11, 2014 12:26 PM

    I think the spirit of the rule is no binding contracts until 4 PM today. They can “come to an agreement” but they cannot sign a contract until 4 PM today. That’s the only rule that would make sense.

  35. rl7911 says: Mar 11, 2014 12:27 PM

    Lol…only in Tampa Bay.

    The Bucs always try and win the off-season..

  36. im2fast4you123 says: Mar 11, 2014 12:29 PM

    Everson Griffin was much better signing. Produced more with less snaps. Johnson proved last year he was a product of the people around him. Good job Vikes.

  37. realdealsteel says: Mar 11, 2014 12:52 PM

    Well, in that division, no ever repeats as division champ.

    1. Panthers are being taken apart by free agency.
    2. Saints best WR is thier TE and have subpar RB’s.
    3. Falcons have a terrible O-line & D-line and that can’t be fixed in one off-season.

    So the Bucs have a shot depending on their QB’s performance.

  38. loyalraven says: Mar 11, 2014 1:01 PM

    Whoever’s running that organization is Buccing stupid. $43M on Michael Johnson? 13th overall + a 4th and $16M for 10 months of Darrel Revis and only 4 wins? What a joke. At least your uniforms match your incompetence.

    The London Buccaneers are gonna be bottom feeders for a lonnng time.

  39. bucs4242 says: Mar 11, 2014 1:25 PM

    Michael Johmson was ranked the #3 DE out of all DEs in 4-3 defenses last year. Funny listening to keyboard jockeys try to sound like NFL GMs.

  40. jgedgar70 says: Mar 11, 2014 1:38 PM

    This smells of panic. Dude is a good player, but not $43 million good. Sounds like Lovie signed his contract and immediately said, “This defense is so bad, Kent State could drop 40 on it. Get a pass rusher at ANY cost!”

  41. jayblack073 says: Mar 11, 2014 2:03 PM

    Oh yeah, he’s only got 3.5 sacks that means he sucks ballz lol. The real good players get 15+ sacks every season.

    This is not that bad of a deal for one of the best DE’s in the league.

  42. bigblu73 says: Mar 11, 2014 2:17 PM

    Ineptitude is clearly the way of the Bucs front office. But really, you let Bennett go(The devil you know) for M.Johnson(The devil you don’t know) and pay him much more than you would’ve had to pay Bennett. My God, Johnson got to play alongside the best interior lineman in the NFL(Geno Atkins) Do you think its merely a coincidence that with Geno he had 11 sacks but with Atkins out last season he managed a paltry 3.5? I’m not claiming to be a NFL caliber GM but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!!! C’Mon Man

  43. lids1982 says: Mar 11, 2014 2:26 PM

    I find it very funny that everyone is harping on the vikings for the Griffen signing. Griffen was a rotational pass rusher playing behind Jared allen, and still scored 5 1/2 sacks, was a Gunner on special teams. Michael Johnson started the entire year and had 3 sacks, but his deal is a good one? SMH

  44. scchamil says: Mar 11, 2014 2:46 PM

    As a Bengals fan, I think the 3.5 sacks was misleading. He’s a quality player in his prime and can be a disruptive force. That Bengals D succceeded based on guys doing their jobs (keeping the edge, etc) – and Johnson did just that. Had career highs in tackles and FF – plus I think he knocked down 9 passes at the line, which is solid.

  45. stevincinci says: Mar 11, 2014 2:49 PM

    Idiots that don’t know this player need to look past the sack total. He is in the face of qb’s all game and is the reason others on the team get sacks and int’s. Best run stopping DE in the league as well as batted passes. Tampa is going to love having him there. Cincy will miss him.

  46. jm91rs says: Mar 11, 2014 4:03 PM

    Just see this guy once in person and you will change your tune. Tall and freakish is the way I describe him.

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