In this week’s Bucs Shots, Pewter Report editor-in-chief Jim Flynn sounds off on message board scholty’s question regarding whether the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will sign former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson.
Would The Bucs Be Interested In Signing Tank Johnson? – Posted On June 25, 2007 by scholty
With defensive tackle Tank Johnson recently released by the Chicago Bears for doing 40 miles per hour in a 25 miles per hour zone he has overstayed his welcome in Chicago.
I wonder if it would be worth it for the Buccaneers to sign him? He would come cheap and you could give him a look and see if he can straighten out.
Jim Flynn’s response to scholty’s post.
The under tackle position was a weakness for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season. While Tank Johnson played well for the Chicago Bears, he played the nose tackle position, which is currently occupied by Chris Hovan.
Hovan was arguably the MVP of Tampa Bay’s defense in 2006 when he notched a career-high 76 tackles and two sacks, so the Bucs aren’t looking for an upgrade at that particular position.
Johnson was released on June 25, which was three days after he was pulled over by Arizona police for speeding. According to SI.com, Johnson was arrested for “DUI Impaired to the Slightest Degree,” but was released without being booked or charged.
The police did, however, draw blood for a blood-alcohol content test before Johnson was released. The results of that test should be in within one to two weeks.
This incident, of course, wasn’t Johnson’s first. He was suspended for the first eight games of the 2007 season for violating his probation on a gun charge. Johnson even spent approximately two months in jail before he was released in May.
Depending on the results of his blood-alcohol test, Johnson’s suspension could be increased by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
That makes signing Johnson a real risk for any team, including the Buccaneers. Remember – Commissioner Goodell made it clear that he reserves the right to discipline the player and the team for off-the-field incidents.
The Bucs signed tight end Jerramy Stevens, who has had some off-the-field issues, to a one-year contract during the offseason, but he received a one-year contract worth league minimum. It included no signing bonus, and more importantly, the league did not discipline Stevens for his arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence and possessing marijuana.
The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Johnson originally entered the NFL in 2004 as a second-round pick out of Washington. He isn’t a sack machine, evidenced by his nine career sacks in three seasons, but Johnson was one of the main reasons why the Chicago Bears defense has been able to dominate over the past two seasons under head coach Lovie Smith.
But Johnson’s production doesn’t outweigh the baggage he’d bring to the Buccaneers, especially when the team has several players, including Darrell Campbell, Kevin Carter, Jovan Haye, Hovan, Julian Jenkins, Greg Peterson, Ryan Sims and Ellis Wyms already competing at defensive tackle.
Pewter Report spoke to Johnson’s agent on Tuesday evening, and he said he has not heard from the Buccaneers regarding any potential interest they might have in signing Johnson. Don’t expect that to change.
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