Bucs, Lions resolve George Johnson situation with a trade

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The Buccaneers and Lions could have rolled the dice and allowed an arbitrator to determine defensive end George Johnson’s future, or they could work out an agreement among themselves to resolve the controversy. They’ve chosen the latter.

Via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the Lions and Buccaneers have agreed to a swap of late-round picks to allow Johnson to join the Bucs under the three-year, $9 million offer sheet he recently signed.

The Lions had challenged the offer sheet because the package can de-escalate by $2 million. Since de-escalators aren’t listed in the relevant portion of the labor deal as a type of variable payment that constitutes a “principal term” in an offer sheet, a question arose as to whether the Lions had to match the higher amount or the lower amount to keep Johnson.

Because the Lions had tendered Johnson at the lowest level, they would have gotten no compensation if they’d chosen not to match the offer sheet.

The labor deal contains restrictions on the ability to trade a player who has signed an offer sheet, but there’s a procedure that allows to make it happen. Presumably, the Lions and Buccaneers have followed that procedure.

30 responses to “Bucs, Lions resolve George Johnson situation with a trade

  1. As a close friend of the Lions organization I would just like to point out the shame in not resigning/matching for GJ.

    Now that Suh is gone, the team does not have that pure raw power in the front 7. Yes Ngata HAD that, but its not at the level it was in 2010 or 2011 for example.

    GJ has that raw power and the Bucs struck gold here.

    No need for Williams or Fowler, the Bucs will NOT trade back

  2. OK, so let me get this straight. All this much ado about nothing for a guy entering his fourth year as a pro and who only has six sacks to show for it.

  3. Another bad decision by the Bucs. Johnson is a one year wonder whose sack numbers were inflated by playing on a talented defensive line. In Tampa Bay, he will not benefit from double teams on Suh and Ansah.

  4. Sadly, we’re watching the Lions lose more talent than they’re replacing.

    Going down this road, Mayhew will be done after this season and Caldwell does NOT have the skill to rebuild a team. He’s a guy who knows how football organizations work, but not how to build a team. He’s a ‘maintainer’. See Indianapolis.

  5. So, because the deal offered by the Bucs was cap heavy this year, and the Lions are in cap trouble, the Lions throw a hissy fit and Goodell pressures the Bucs to do a trade instead.

    The Bucs should have been in the drivers seat on this, but Jason Licht sucks so bad he blew it.

  6. Sounds like the Lions got something from a guy they didn’t plan on keeping around if this situation came up.

    He’s obviously not worth $3mil/year if they weren’t going to pony up the extra money prior to tagging him the way they did.

  7. @zingo1978 – I really do appreciate the optimism… but what have Mayhew and the Lions done that even remotely resembles a consistent depth of football intelligence?

    They trudge along with hope as a strategy, doing the same things this season that they did last season, looking miraculously for a different outcome… and being completely puzzled when they don’t get it.

    Soon, we’ll all be talking about ‘rebuilding’ yet again. It hurts man.

  8. Who is George Johnson and is he really worth fighting over since most people have never heard of him.

  9. Great move by the Lions. This guy benefited greatly by playing next to Suh.

    No Suh? Johnson = Invisible.

    Thanks for the higher pick. Not that the Lions will do anything with it…

  10. Who knows if the Lions personnel decisions are the correct ones, but the way the front office has handled the tampering and offer sheet matters has been professional and impressive.

  11. The Lions may have handled this the right way but it was a no brainer. Its comical how some of you say how shrewd this move was and not the same old Lions. Go’s to show how pathetic they are if this is considered an accomplishment.

  12. Curious as to what the swap was and if this is better than a potential compensatory pick the Lions would have gotten in 2016 for just letting him go. If it’s a decent jump, probably fine, but just moving up nominally in late rounds isn’t as good as just getting a free late round pick.

  13. Swap of late round picks? So in effect, the Lion’s take the Bucs 7th rounder at Pick #236 and the Buc’s move back in the 7th round to take the Lion’s #248th?

    Seems more trouble that its worth.

  14. Nice pickup for the Bucs. Worst case he doesn’t pan out and cost $3 million and added competition at a weak poin on the roster.

    Best case is they found a guy that is hitting his prime and got him on the cheap before he truly breaks out.

    Most likely case is he provides solid depth and competition.

    Easy risk to take.

  15. ashram said..
    “Another bad decision by the Bucs. Johnson is a one year wonder whose sack numbers were inflated by playing on a talented defensive line. In Tampa Bay, he will not benefit from double teams on Suh and Ansah.”

    know what your talking about before you post…

    The Lions and Bucs arguably had the best DTs in football with Suh and GMc. Either could be called the best DT in football. So, GJ is going into a situation very similar to that which he had with Suh. A top notch DT in the middle…..

    carry on…

  16. purpleguy writes:

    Who knows if the Lions personnel decisions are the correct ones…

    Recent studies by highly regarded football analysts place the Detroit Lions as the very worst in the league at drafting, managing the cap and having the most dead money. Plus, they never win their division and haven’t won a playoff game in over 30 years.

    I think we know everything there is to know about the Lions’ personnel decisions.

  17. Ahh yeah, we do have the “other” best DT in the league, Gerald McCoy! I think young Johnson will be just fine with him. Nice pickup for the Bucs

  18. Johnson has played for the Bucs before while McCoy was there. He couldn’t get in the lineup then so why would he be better playing next to McCoy now?

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