Bucs cut Michael Johnson a year after signing him

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If anyone was still hoping that the crop of free agents the Buccaneers signed last year would turn out to be anything but a disaster has all of their hopes pinned to cornerback Alterraun Verner and center Evan Dietrich-Smith right now.

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the team will release defensive end Michael Johnson on Wednesday. Johnson joins tackle Anthony Collins and quarterback Josh McCown as free agents that the Buccaneers signed around this time last year who have been cut after a poor debut season in Tampa.

Johnson signed a five-year, $43.75 million contract last year and provided 27 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 games with the team. The Bucs will get $2 million back under the cap, but they owe Johnson $7 million fully guaranteed, with no offset.

Making the move now keeps another $7 million from becoming fully guaranteed.

The Bengals are believed to be interested in having Johnson return to the team he played for during his first five seasons. Johnson had 26.5 sacks for the Bengals during that time and he should come a lot cheaper than he did last offseason.

57 responses to “Bucs cut Michael Johnson a year after signing him

  1. He wasn’t good last year and missed a bunch of time with injuries, but he was at least somewhat decent. Was he overpaid for his production? Sure, but the Bucs are swimming in cap space right now. Who’s going to replace him?

  2. 2014 Bucs Free Agency: A study in why you don’t try and build your team in FA. Augment it with some depth, but the draft is how you win in today’s NFL.

  3. Why not just give the guy one more yr, if he doesn’t pan out by wk 8 bench him & cut bait after next season. Why eat all that dead money now? And shame on Lovie Smith & the GM! How can the two of them be THAT bad @ evaluating talent?!? They almost cut everybody they signed from last yr like “Whoops our bad folks”

  4. So NFLPA, why even sign contracts if an NFL team can simply rip it up if they so choose?

    MLB, or the NBA must laugh about NFL players all the way to the bank.

    Meanwhile who does this NFL arrangement suit? NFL owners. Ya THINK!!!???

  5. bucrightoff says:
    Mar 11, 2015 3:46 PM
    2014 Bucs Free Agency: A study in why you don’t try and build your team in FA. Augment it with some depth, but the draft is how you win in today’s NFL.

    ——————————————————————
    Stop saying this … its not true. Did you see the PAtriots win the superbowl ??? that team had a ton of free agents in starting roles… Some teams win using the draft. Some teams win by getting free agents. Some teams win by doing both.. The only real truth is teams with Great QB’s win superbowls period. Nothing else is true.

  6. He missed his Bengals….now he can go back and steal money from them! He was far from “decent” last year. When a DE in the NFL runs away from contact, you KNOW you’ve made a mistake. Saw that too many times last year. Good riddance!

  7. Those stats were on par, slightly better, than what he did with Cincinnati the previous year so what did they expect?

    Hope my Bengals bring him back.

  8. skawh says: Mar 11, 2015 3:54 PM

    So NFLPA, why even sign contracts if an NFL team can simply rip it up if they so choose?

    MLB, or the NBA must laugh about NFL players all the way to the bank.

    Meanwhile who does this NFL arrangement suit? NFL owners. Ya THINK!!!???

    Really? You think fully guaranteed contracts are the way to go. If I get hired by a company and do a poor job, guess what I get canned and only get paid for the time I was there. MLB and the NBA have it all wrong. the only money that should be guaranteed is signing bonus. the rest you have to EARN.

  9. tvjules says:
    Mar 11, 2015 3:46 PM
    Why cut him? They could probably have traded him to Chip Kelly for a second an third round pick.

    ———

    Nah, he doesn’t have the injury history Kelly is looking for.

  10. Perennial playoff teams (since the last 2o11 CBA & slotted rookie contracts) NE, GB, Cincinnati & the all-time NFL compensatory pick champion Baltimorgue DO NOT (at least in targeted years) sign many ‘true’ UFAs (i.e. those whose contracts expired, not those who are cut & thus not included in comp pick formulations) in order to maximize the accumulation of those comp picks (for ‘losing’ thei own drafted & developed players to other teams (such as ‘overpaying’ loser franchise TB doing it the ‘traditional’ i.e. Dan Snyderesque throw cash at big ticket names way

    Sure, they will eagely sign ‘street’ FAs outside the compensation formula UFAs as they would come available and would be fits, but not the traditional “big splash” ‘normal’ FAs

  11. It will be interesting to see if Mike Zimmer goes after him. He was interested in landing Johnson last year, but the Vikings had just given Everson Griffen a big contract. Maybe now the Vikings sign him on the cheap.

  12. There was talk Zimmer would try to bring him to the Vikes last year. Zimmer clearly gets the best performance out of him, go pick the guy up (though they probably wont since it’s not considered a need for the Vikings).

  13. Stop saying this … its not true. Did you see the PAtriots win the superbowl ??? that team had a ton of free agents in starting roles… Some teams win using the draft. Some teams win by getting free agents. Some teams win by doing both.. The only real truth is teams with Great QB’s win superbowls period. Nothing else is true.

    ——————————————————-
    I completely agreed until the last sentence. Seattle won because of a great defense, not RW. Just in the last 10 yrs there was Ben (1st SB, he was not a good QB), Eli twice, Flacco. All those teams won because of defense.

  14. Dear MJ93,
    We missed you. We should have never split, please come back to us.
    love,
    Cincy

    Dear Cincy,
    I missed you too, the weather was nice, but it was horrible being away for so long. I’ll be on the next flight.
    love,
    MJ93

  15. He was never the same after being embarrassed by Donovan Bailey.

    Oops… wrong Michael Johnson.

  16. kuechlyisabeast says:
    Mar 11, 2015 4:04 PM
    skawh says: Mar 11, 2015 3:54 PM

    So NFLPA, why even sign contracts if an NFL team can simply rip it up if they so choose?

    MLB, or the NBA must laugh about NFL players all the way to the bank.

    Meanwhile who does this NFL arrangement suit? NFL owners. Ya THINK!!!???

    Really? You think fully guaranteed contracts are the way to go. If I get hired by a company and do a poor job, guess what I get canned and only get paid for the time I was there. MLB and the NBA have it all wrong. the only money that should be guaranteed is signing bonus. the rest you have to EARN.
    ——–
    I see this all the time and it tells me that most fans do not at all understand how highly paid contracts work. In radio TV deals whatever the company cannot just cut up a contract for whatever reason. If a 2 year contract is signed that company is on the hook for those two years. Just because a better actor comes along or the market value for actor decerased since the last contract was signed doesn’t give the company the right to tear up the contract. Amongst high profile contract workers the NFL is a truly unique system. Howard Stern’s employer can’t just not pay him if his ratings fall. They can cancel his show but they pay him for the duration of the contract. Same with Rush Limbaugh. Same with officers at companies.

    STOP COMPARING YOUR SITUATION TO NFL PLAYERS OR ANY ATHLETE’S. It’s nowhere near the same business arrangement. You’re not an entertainer and millions of people don’t tune in to see you perform.

  17. Come on Bucs.

    The New England Patriots expect more from their farm team than this.

    Just for kickers, why don’t you all raise ticket prices and bring Rob Johnson out of retirement.

    Bucs have a talented roster, despite their record, and very little leadership or accountability, it seems.

  18. 6thsense10 says: Mar 11, 2015 4:30 PM

    kuechlyisabeast says:
    Mar 11, 2015 4:04 PM
    skawh says: Mar 11, 2015 3:54 PM

    So NFLPA, why even sign contracts if an NFL team can simply rip it up if they so choose?

    MLB, or the NBA must laugh about NFL players all the way to the bank.

    Meanwhile who does this NFL arrangement suit? NFL owners. Ya THINK!!!???

    Really? You think fully guaranteed contracts are the way to go. If I get hired by a company and do a poor job, guess what I get canned and only get paid for the time I was there. MLB and the NBA have it all wrong. the only money that should be guaranteed is signing bonus. the rest you have to EARN.
    ——–
    I see this all the time and it tells me that most fans do not at all understand how highly paid contracts work. In radio TV deals whatever the company cannot just cut up a contract for whatever reason. If a 2 year contract is signed that company is on the hook for those two years. Just because a better actor comes along or the market value for actor decerased since the last contract was signed doesn’t give the company the right to tear up the contract. Amongst high profile contract workers the NFL is a truly unique system. Howard Stern’s employer can’t just not pay him if his ratings fall. They can cancel his show but they pay him for the duration of the contract. Same with Rush Limbaugh. Same with officers at companies.

    STOP COMPARING YOUR SITUATION TO NFL PLAYERS OR ANY ATHLETE’S. It’s nowhere near the same business arrangement. You’re not an entertainer and millions of people don’t tune in to see you perform.

    _______

    Completely disagree. I understand how those contracts work. still disagree with them. It’s not the better way to do business. especially when you have fans involved (whether radio or sports team). You can attract good talent with large signing bonuses, run a normal contract where the employer can terminate at any time, and they are only out of the bonus money plus salary earned while they are there. Otherwise you have a team (or radio show) putting out a bad product without the ability to financially replace that person.

  19. To offer a positive angle to this, I’d like everyone to note the way that Tampa structures contracts makes it more reasonable to sign big free agents and then cut them when it doesn’t work out.

    Thanks so no massive signing bonus and proper structuring, Tampa is out a little dead money this year on Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson but nothing beyond that. Other teams that bail on big free agents have to cover dead signing bonuses years after they’ve cut bait.

    These guys didn’t work out, but give a team a little credit for swinging for the fences. Johnson was a highly coveted free agent and if Tampa hadn’t given him that money, someone would have…

  20. I will even go farther and say the big companies that pay out these huge parachute contracts to CEO’s are a major part of the problem. You get this high profile CEO to come in and he gets paid while he’s there, then gets paid crap loads when he leaves regardless of performance. Sure you can run your business that way. Doesn’t make it smart.

  21. I think it’s funny how many comments are so ripping MJ for his production last year when his stats were pretty comparable to every year except 2012 when he had 11.5 sacks. His tackles were down a bit but he missed some playing time due to injury. Calling him a bust in Tampa is ludicrous. Come on home MJ you look better in tiger stripes anyway.

  22. pooflingingmonkey says: Mar 11, 2015 4:15 PM

    I’m surprised the Raiders didn’t offer a 1st and 2nd for him.
    ————————
    Of course you are. Your overall lack of comprehension is well known around here.

  23. gomybirdsgo says:
    Mar 11, 2015 3:57 PM

    The only real truth is teams with Great QB’s win superbowls period. Nothing else is true.

    _______________________

    Trent Dilfer, Doug Williams, Eli Manning, Brad Johnson and Jeff Hostetler all agree with your assessment.

  24. Kuechlyisabeast
    .
    .
    .
    Completely disagree. I understand how those contracts work. still disagree with them. It’s not the better way to do business. especially when you have fans involved (whether radio or sports team). You can attract good talent with large signing bonuses, run a normal contract where the employer can terminate at any time, and they are only out of the bonus money plus salary earned while they are there. Otherwise you have a team (or radio show) putting out a bad product without the ability to financially replace that person.
    ——

    Doesn’t matter what you agree with the point is the way NFL handles its contracts is outside the norm of just about every entertainment business handles contracts. A contract for 3 years $20 million is exactly that in the music industry, movie industry, most sports leagues, and most corporations. If you want to get out the contract you negotiate a buy out. But really my comment wasn’t about right or wrong it was about you using your example of if a company hires you…..not the same thing and not the norm for most if not all contracts outside the NFL. If a company wants to get away with not paying the balance of a signed contract in the entertainment industry they would need to take them to court.

  25. If they signed him because they thought he was a 12 sack then they have nobody to blame but themselves.
    He had 11 1/2 one year when Geno Atkins was wrecking havoc.He gets decent pressure,bats a lot of balls down and plays the run well.He`s a solid player who got overpaid,had some injuries and didn`t fit in with his new team.welcome to NFL free agency.

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