Report: Bucs Pursuing DE Michael JohnsonMarch 9th, 2014
Joe’s got an uneasy feeling this morning, and it’s not undigested beer and grouper tacos from last night.
Word from the Chicago Tribune says the Bucs are in hot pursuit of free agent Michael Johnson, the Bengals’ defensive end.
After Johnson’s 3 1/2-sack season last year, and given Johnson’s freakish athletic gifts at 6-7, 260 pounds, Joe gets a queasy feeling that Lovie Smith sees Johnson as a Gaines Adams type of guy. In other words, Johnson might be viewed by Lovie as a guy whose production he can massively increase versus what he delivered in Cincinnati. For the same reason, Lovie and the Bears mysteriously traded a second-round pick to the Bucs for Adams midway through the 2009 season.
Of course, Johnson is more accomplished than Adams ever was. Johnson, 27, had his breakthrough season in 2012 with 11.5 sacks, and he’s stout against the run.
Johnson would represent a huge upgrade to Adrian Clayborn, and he could be the “value” type free agent with massive upside the Bucs claim to be seeking. But Joe’s leery of a guy coming off what unquestionably was a down year.
Joe wonders whether word of the Johnson pursuit means Jared Allen and/or Michael Bennett are seeking astronomical sums of money.