Report: Buccaneers host Lions DE George Johnson


One of the more well-regarded restricted free agents has taken a visit.

According to Jenna Laine of Sports Talk Florida, the Buccaneers hosted Lions defensive end George Johnson on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Johnson recorded a career-high six sacks in 2014 for Detroit, which could match any offer to the fourth-year defensive end from Rutgers. However, the Lions simply have the right of first refusal and would not be due any draft-pick compensation if Johnson were signed away.

The Buccaneers and Johnson have some history. The 6-foot-4, 263-pound defensive end began his career with the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in 2010, spending multiple stints with the club before joining Minnesota in 2012. The Lions signed him last April, and he became a key contributor in their defensive-line rotation.

However, he could have an even bigger role with the Buccaneers, who are in need of defensive ends after releasing Michael Johnson and seeing Adrian Clayborn depart in free agency.

9 responses to “Report: Buccaneers host Lions DE George Johnson

  1. This is why the Lions aren’t in the free agent market. They’re waiting to resign one of their own once he establishes his value. Next up are June 1st, ‘er, May 12th cuts.

  2. I don’t know if he is gonna be worth a draft pick or the money. we’ve got depth. we need to spend 2 of our 5 picks in the draft in rounds 2-5 and hope we can find a starter out of 1 of those 2 picks. get Winston in 1. an off. tackle, a right guard, and 2 def. ends afterwards. then grab diggs and zack zenner and a lb. got it lovie and licht ??

  3. The reason why the Lions aren’t in the free agent market is that they mismanaged the Suh contract situation over the past few years, declined the option on Nick Fairly, unnecessarily drafted Eric Ebron instead of Aaron Donald, lost Suh to free agency, didn’t have any adequate replacements on the roster, couldn’t find any reasonable DTs on the market, were forced to trade for Haloti Ngata and used up much of their salary cap space absorbing his contract. That being said, one would hope that they can retain George Johnson. If not, the team’s D line will be riddled with even more question marks and holes that even the most feeble opposing RBs will be running through this upcoming season. If Mayhew flames out in the draft next month, there will be a regime change on the horizon. Again.

  4. he could get released…who knows? I think we can get a starter or atleast someone of the same caliber in the 3rd round and 5th. the drafts deep in de’s. its up to our war room experts to find talented players.

  5. you guys act Like this guy is some pro bowler. he wasn’t even a starter. we missed out on the top 3 starting def. ends. we needed to sign a starter at DE this off season. we had the money. we need a starter now. I’m glad with the the signings of carter@ lb. melton @Dt and conte@ saftey. the signings of Moore and Jenkins secures us at cb/ nickel. i’ll take him but we can do without him. I guess he could fight to be a starter. I just hate that we missed out on Trent Cole. hardy?? don’t know if we need his problems…but we just needed to sign a starter. period. we’ve made enough mistakes last year. boo hoo guys. if the lions thought so big of him..sign the mother f’er to a big contract. if he’s so good?? our off season signings will allow us to just focus on de and off. line after Winston…if we wanted to. were set everywhere else. rb. wr. te. Dt. lb. cb. Ss. were pretty set. we need hole opened and was protection. and a starting DE to go on the other side of smith and our great DT rotation which begins with mccoy. WE NEED A STARTER, STARTING DE. DUH!!!

  6. Makes sense, leave the place you finally flourished for the place you’ve already failed multiple times. I’m guessing the Bucs wouldn’t offer much and Detroit would match

  7. Mayhew may have messed up with Detroit’s “Other Johnson,”

    Mayhew had a chance to sign the 4 yr veteran Defensive End role player to an extended contract last year. Johnson has been productive when inserted into the Lion’s defensive line rotation.

    Mayhew certainly won’t match a competitive offer if it is for more than backup/reserve money. Which is basically a miff because many teams are looking for DE’s to compete for a starting position in the draft or through free agency.

    Lets see if this makes sense…

    Willie Young STARTED 15 games for the Lions in 2013 and recorded 47 tackles and three sacks at 6-foot-4, 251-pound. He went to Chicago for 9 millions over 3 yrs.

    Johnson is a 6-foot-4, 263-pound DE RESERVE who recorded 29 tackles and 6 sacks in 2014. I would say that George Johnson has a much better shot at a equal or better contract offer then Young.

    I would only assume that Johnson would be worth more then Young in terms of an offer for a starting role.

    The first right of refusal tender risks a 1.5 million compensation should the player not sign with another team but no draft pick if he does.

    If the Lions offered 2.3 millions tender which is only 800,000 more, the Lions would be awarded a 2nd round pick in compensation. Should he sign to another team.

    For the difference of 800,000 toward cap you either get a starting caliber DE or get a 2nd round pick. Is a 2nd rounder a fair price to get a cheap 4yr starting caliber DE to fill in a hole? I think so. But if no one does then it is a good deterent to keep Johnson on the roster.

    Mayhew also tendered Jeremy Ross at 900,000.
    So in essense had the Lions not signed Ross, who will be doubtful as the returner this year and not even a strong 5th reciever they could have insured a Starting caliber reserve DE at 2.3 million or a 2nd round pick.

    The way it looks right now is most likely Mayhew gets the Lions keep Ross and lose Johnson for nothing.

    Sure there is always the draft to attempt to backfill at rookie wages, but I would rather take a productive 4 yr veteran DE or a 2nd rounder plus a prospect.


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