Bucs sign defensive end George Johnson to offer sheet, Lions have five days to match


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced they have signed restricted free agent defensive end George Johnson to an offer sheet.

The Detroit Lions now have five days to match the offer extended from the Buccaneers.

According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, it’s a three-year contract signed by Johnson. The Lions only offered an original round tender to Johnson prior to the start of free agency, meaning Detroit would not receive any compensation from the Buccaneers if they don’t match the offer.

Johnson originally signed with the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers in 2010. He spent portions of three seasons with Tampa Bay before joining the Minnesota Vikings in 2012 and the Lions last year.

Johnson appeared in all 16 games for Detroit. He posted 29 tackles and six sacks in a breakout campaign.

There hasn’t been much movement with restricted free agency in recent years. However, Johnson is now the second RFA to sign an offer sheet on Tuesday alone. The Oakland Raiders signed Green Bay Packers safety Sean Richardson to an offer sheet as well.

19 responses to “Bucs sign defensive end George Johnson to offer sheet, Lions have five days to match

  1. I hope this will turn out like the Clinton McDonald signing, not superstar numbers maybe, but good solid production. That’s the kind of players New England is filled with. If Johnson could do that, it’s a good move. I like the low-key signings this year, as opposed to overspending last year for virtually nothing besides McDonald.

  2. I hope the contract isn’t too big. No offense to Johnson, but I’m really tired of free agent signings. We need to just start drafting better.

  3. The straw that should break the Lion’s front office back.

    The Lions could have kept the George “The Other” Johnson, a starting caliber DE with a 2.3M tender or have recieved a 2nd round pick. Instead he was tendered for 1.5M and no compensation… the 1.5M tender is useless in Johnson’s case and the difference is only 800K.

    This is deja vu to last year where Willie Young signed for 3yrs 9 million with Chicago and Lion’s recieved zero. George Johnson will be valued higher. Johnson’s stats/start best Young’s.

    Instead they tendered Jeremy Ross for 900,000 who will likely be cut in the move to 53. His value as a returner is waning and he shouldnt even make the roster as a 5th receiver. Tate is a returner with Star value, and we just signed josh Wilson who has done returns, so they were looking to upgrade there anyway.

    Wouldn’t you pay 800K to retain a starting caliber DE at a below value contract for a year or get a 2nd rounder? Hello????

    Can the Lion’s fans really trust this front office with draft choices and retaining key contributors any more? Mayhew and Lewand are demonstrating complete incompetence in dealing with free agency, retaining contributors and the draft.

    They haven’t even attempted to extend Levy, and could possibly save some cap doing so. Suh didnt sign for much more than the Lion’s offered and now they have 9M in dead money for nothing. They also could have signed ihedigbo to a backloaded contract but opted for short term deals and now he is disgruntled.

    Does any of this make sense to anyone, other than Mayhew & Lewand are looking more like Martin & Lewis?

  4. He was a nobody until he rotated on the Lions DL. Would suck to lose him but I don’t think he’s ready to be a full time starter.

  5. C’mon Mayhew & Lewand, this guy has some game in him. Stop being arrogant jerks and match the offer.

  6. With a modestly higher priced 2nd round tender, Detroit could’ve protected itself from losing yet another contributor to the D line’s success in 2014. If G. Johnson leaves, the 2015 offseason may go down as an all time dud and all the blind faith Lion fans are going to have a real hard time maintaining their support for the current administration while the rational ones will brace themselves for yet another regime change. If Mayhew and company don’t absolutely spin gold out of the 2015 draft, our team will be lucky to finish third in the division and anyone paying attention will be hard pressed to say that they didn’t see it coming.

  7. After the bye week, in the last 8 games, Johnson was pretty much invisible except a key sack against Minnesota:

    5 solos

    2 assists

    2 sacks

    This, despite playing on a line with Suh and being in a rotation at DE.

    Good luck in Tampa Bay.

  8. Lions are not going to re-sign him, they have no cash. They have to keep enough to take care of their draft picks.

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