Expect Six Sacks From Michael JohnsonMarch 11th, 2014
A year after racking up double-digit sacks, Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson had but 3.5 last year. For context, Adrian Clayborn, who is suddenly taking heat for being just “solid,” had 5.5 sacks last year.
It always sends up a red flag to Joe when a playoff team lets a starter walk away, which is what the Bengals are doing here. Bucs fans should be concerned but not alarmed, yet, so writes NFL insider Dan Pompei.
A long-time acquaintance of Joe’s Pompei knows his stuff and does his homework and research. Pompei believes Bucs fans can expect a solid guy against the rush in Johnson, and perhaps six sacks. Anything more, well, is gravy.
Johnson had only 3.5 sacks last season, and in five NFL seasons he has had more than six sacks only once. Sacks are not a complete reflection of a defensive end’s performance, and Johnson is a better player than his sack numbers indicate. He gets pressure and forces the quarterback to move. But those sack totals are a red flag. The end game for a pass rusher is to get the quarterback on the ground. Johnson has not done that consistently. I have spoken with people who have worked with him on the Bengals, and they think he is a good player who helps them win. He’s solid against the run. They wanted him back at a price. Johnson has potential to be more than he’s been. But you have to be careful about paying for potential. Anyone investing in Michael Johnson has to be OK with getting about six sacks out of him, which is more than his average over his career. What is that worth? Less than he is going to get, for sure.
Yes, the Bucs finally have their edge rusher, but is he really that much better than Clayborn? Time will only tell.
No, Joe is not upset with this signing. Joe is in a dark funk with the awful news the Bucs want to throw at worst the second-best cornerback in the NFL in the nearest dumpster.