It turns out, the Bucs are not done adding to their revamped offensive line. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Tampa Bay is signing former Bengals offensive lineman Fred Johnson to a one-year deal. Johnson is a utility offensive lineman who has started in spots for Cincinnati over the past three years. He was originally signed by Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent in 2019.

Over the past three seasons, Johnson has started and played games at left tackle, right tackle and right guard. But he’s struggled in his 727 career snaps, especially as a pass protector. In 2021, Johnson played only 90 snaps and was often a healthy scratch on one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.

While the former Florida Gator’s versatility is appealing to the Bucs, Johnson is expected to compete at tackle this offseason. Currently, veteran swing tackle Josh Wells remains un-signed. The acquisition of Johnson could indicate the Bucs are ready to go another direction at the backup tackle spot. Or perhaps Wells will be back, just with real competition for the job.

During his career, Johnson has struggled with more athletic rushers in pass protection. But there is no denying his power and nastiness in the run game. At 6-7, 326 pounds, Johnson has rare size and the physicality to make use of it. However, his technique needs to improve moving forward. He shouldn’t be considered a roster lock, but he will have a real chance to make the final 53 in training camp.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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Bucs828
Bucs828
3 months ago

Was hoping for a backup LT that was at a minimum good in pass pro. Like the versatility though. If he can’t beat out Wells, he should not be in the team.

CrackerBall
CrackerBall
Reply to  Bucs828
3 months ago

This…

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  Bucs828
3 months ago

Wells is not on the team bro.

drdneast
drdneast
3 months ago

Good gawd, did Mark Dominik weasel his way back into the GMs seat. The Bengals had the worst line in the NFL last year and this guy was one of the reasons. I think a more nimble Joe Burrows got sacked 61 times last season. This is crazy.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago

Isn’t he the guy that Cincinnati re-signed and then cut the very same day?

Pete Wood
Pete Wood
3 months ago

Our GM has a knack for finding players that other teams ahve overlooked. If Jason likes this guy, things are probably going t work out.

Joseph
Joseph
3 months ago

Looks to be a wells replacement seems like an ok depth piece.

Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith
3 months ago

Sounds like an upgrade over Wells.

fredster
fredster
Reply to  Bradley Smith
3 months ago

Yes you can’t get worse than him. Lol

Eddie
Eddie
3 months ago

“..often a healthy scratch on one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.”
And we signed him because…..?

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  Eddie
3 months ago

For depth my man! Everyone can’t make ten million a year! U need these role players on the roster as well.

Eddie
Eddie
Reply to  bucballer
3 months ago

OK then. But another tackle that needs tight end help against speed rusher.

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  Eddie
3 months ago

We don’t know that as a fact. Let’s see in preseason. Most elite speed rushers require that the tackle get some chip help from TE.

obuc
obuc
3 months ago

why?

Theydidwhat
Theydidwhat
3 months ago

Competition with Wells to see who is the best of the worst? Not having good back ups cost the Chiefs a superbowl, Bucs losing to the Rams and Bengals losing to the Rams. 3 big time reasons why they need to get serious at OT. Smith stunk it up against the Rams or other athletic rushers….sound familiar?

Horse
Horse
3 months ago

Sounds to me the flavor priority is improving the run game? If so, the Bucs might draft a RB in Rounds 1 or 2?

fredster
fredster
Reply to  Horse
3 months ago

If they don’t draft defense in rds 1 or 2 then they are idiots and this team is screwed. Taking a RB high after signing Fournette would be so dumb. So many holes on D it’s not funny. Defense even pretty much healthy against Rams in playoffs sucked.