It didn’t take recently cut defensive end Michael Johnson to find a new home.
Adam Schefter reported on Sunday morning that Johnson will return to the Cincinnati Bengals after one disappointing season with the Buccaneers.
To make matter worse, Johnson leaves the Bucs making another $7 million and is set to make $14 million in 2015.
From the beginning of OTAs last spring Johnson never seemed to be a good fit in Tampa Bay. In January one of Johnson’s agents, John Thornton, was on a radio show and talked about the relationship between Johnson and the Bengals.
“I think they (the Bengals and Johnson) both missed each other,” said Thornton.
“What Mike did is he allowed everyone else to rotate, because he was an every down guy. Mike wasn’t a great pass rusher, no, but he was really good against the run, he was decent against the pass at that is a huge value, because he helped everyone else be great. That is where we all missed the boat……Mike got a great contract, he was hurt most of the year in Tampa. I felt we could have done more to keep him here (Bengals). It is something you learn in the business. You don’t always have to go for the biggest contract. I felt we could have got it done and they both missed each other.”
Some fans are upset that the Bucs haven’t been more active in free agency, but Tampa Bay is wary to offer big guaranteed money to free agents after the debacle with Johnson, and also offensive lineman Anthony Collins who was also released last week. The Bucs have a number holes to fill including on the offensive line and at defensive end but it appears the team will attempt to fill those roles with lower priced mid-level free agents, draft picks and preseason cuts from other teams.
Will it be enough? Only time will tell, but after the mistake of cornerback Eric Wright, the unfortunate health situation of guard Carl Nicks and the flameout of Johnson and Collins, it may be a while before you see the blank checks signed by the Glazers passed around freely during the second week of March.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keeping the checkbook locked up because of failed evaluations is called GUN SHY! It’s sad the Bucs have become gun shy with so many holes to fill. The fans will have to endure another losing season in the hope that the Bucs have figured out how to evaluate talent.
I understand making a mistake on Johnson, but not having offset language in a FA contract is gross negligence! I expect Lovie to pick a bad player now and again (RIP Gaines Adams), but I didn’t expect Licht to do a bad contract!
I don’t remember any of Mark Dominik’s contracts which only lasted one year only to be forced to absorb dead money if it didn’t work out. Revis comes to mind. Oh well, it really doesn’t matter since the Bucs are not close to the cap limit(yet).
The Bengals signed Johnson again and we still have to pay him 7 mil. What’s wrong with that picture? That’s a pretty sweet deal for him, not so much for the Bucs. The Bucs not jumping back in on FA for the high paid players is the correct approach for now. Build through the draft and use FA to add depth. When we get close to being respectable and need one or two top players to get us deep into the playoffs. That’s the time to go all in. It will take two more GOOD drafts to contend for the division and have a shot at the playoffs. We need to be patient and hope the team of L&L can fulfill our dreams. If they fail after five years it will be time to move on. It will then be another major overhaul as the next regimen probably won’t run the Tampa 2.
Do you think that Johnson was here to get that big paycheck and he had a plan to resign with Cinn. By what the bucs did,Do you think that next year if Johnson has a big year at Cinn.Do you think the bucs may get a nfl extra pick in 2016 on his actions!
Maybe the double paycheck was Johnson’s plan all along?
This stinks as much as the Revis deal did- Tampa got hoodwinked – Dom got hosed and so have L&L – LOL!!
Revis came for tax free insurance and rehab. He took it easy,got dropped and went to the Pats- and we all know how that worked out for him.Now a season later,he is back where he started…
Johnson got paid,did nothing- tax free insurance/ rehab and dropped- just to go back to his old team along with money that should have benefitted the local economy instead it now will get spent in Cincy…
Hopefully this team has learned from those deals and won’t repeat them….
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