Ghostly Cash Conundrum

January 20th, 2015
michael johnson 1102

Will Michael Johnson continue to haunt the Bucs?

Tampa Bay can release defensive end Michael Johnson on or before March 11 and only owe him $7 million. Or Tampa Bay can keep Johnson past March 11, which would guarantee Johnson an additional $7 million for 2015, $14 million in all.

Mike Florio of NBC Sports, and the guru of, shared intricate details of Johnson’s contract yesterday. He noted trading Johnson would be very difficult, and keeping him proposes its own challenge.

With $7 million already committed to him for 2015, the question becomes whether the Bucs are willing to make another $7 million commitment to justify the $7 million that’s already owed to the player.

That sure sums it up neatly.

Joe can only imagine Lovie Smith and Jason Licht meeting with Team Glazer and explaining that Johnson is worth that additional $7 million. Sheesh. Joe wonders if that could be done with a straight face.

27 Responses to “Ghostly Cash Conundrum”

  1. Teacherman777 Says:

    Tough choice.


  2. Celly Says:

    As much as some of you hated Dominick, one thing was for certain: he knew how to structure money so that people could be cut w/o detriment to the cap.

  3. OB Says:

    This is an easy choice, if they think his injuries were the problem and they played him any way, they are the boneheads and he should be given the change to shine. If they think he is not the player he was signed as, cut him and use the 7 Mil on a good DE.

    In either case if we don’t end up with a good DE, fire Lovie.

  4. Simple as that Says:

    Renegotiate or terminate

  5. mike Says:

    tough choice with already 7 million commited to him. @ celly is right… the dom paid a higher price but could cut and run at any time. BUT if the dom resigned michael bennett, then maybe johnson isn’t on the roster.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think it only saves us $2mil on the 2015 cap… suspicion is that we will keep him….

  7. Dean Says:

    Mike Florio did part of the work for you Joe….how about you do the rest.

    Can the Bucs renegotiate his contract and affect the bottom line in a better way?

    Or is it simply a case of bet 7 million that last year was because of injury and spend 14 mil on improved play this year.

    I’d want to know if there is anyway to lower the cost to a more reasonable amount.

  8. rayjay1122 Says:

    Signing this guy was a bigger mistake than my first marriage….and that was a mistake of epic proportions!!!

  9. bucco brice Says:

    as I see it, this team is severely lacking depth…needs to keep all the bodies possible for camp…sickens me that money plays such an important role in personnel decisions…if it’s doable, the guy deserves another chance…clayborn and stocker should be re-signed too

  10. Ian_620WDAE Says:

    seems to me that if they feel there is a DE they can get during free agency for less than 7 million with better production, Johnson will be cut. It’s better to admit you made a mistake and move on vs committing 14 million to one player who will give minimal production vs spreading that amount over two (maybe 3) players and getting the desired result.

  11. JFat Says:

    I don’t believe the money in 2016 would be guaranteed or “Dead-cap”. Makes a lot more sense to give him one more run this year, and cut bait next season if he doesn’t turn things around.

  12. biff barker Says:

    Awaiting the clueless and confident 40% to defend another one of Lovie’s master works of football genius.

  13. Yar Says:

    Florio also said his contract was for 23 Mil guaranteed, if that’s the case the bucs will have to pay him that additional 7 mil anyway, 9 for 2014, 7 and 7 makes 23 mil., I’m confused as always.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Here is a no lose proposition….

    Since Tenn needs a QB…they may really like having the choice…..lets trade with them…pick up a couple of picks and take the leftover…..that way we get Winston or Mariota plus picks….
    Joe thinks this would be stupid of us……only stupid if we are certain of our pick and somewhat certain that Tenn wants the same QB…..

    We could claim that we knew who they would pick all along and wanted the other guy anyway…..(fat chance)

  15. 87ForJameisNoMariota Says:

    See this right here is another example of why I don’t want the Bucs to trade that #1 pick away for multiple picks.

    I’m not happy with who’s doing the shopping.

  16. Tomcin Says:

    If it were me I would let him go, save $7 mil and sign Claiborn & still have money left over for some one else. But this is all a mute point if Lovie dovie (Mr. screw up) is our head coach.

  17. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Hmmmm…..I seem to recall that we kept Dominick’s capologist.

  18. Brandon Says:

    I believe way before I believe anything Mike Florio writes.

  19. phreakybucfan Says:

    Casper Johnson’s agent = best agent ever.

  20. DallasBuc Says:

    I don’t care how much it costs, get rid of him. His open roster spot is worth more than the money hit. Maybe next time this will teach Lovie and lapdog to be more judicious with their talent evaluation and contract negotiation. If he remains on this team you will know that they are more interested in doing what’s best for their ego than what is best for the Bucs. Kinda simple as that!

  21. mike Says:

    i’m glad we got rid of revis so we could sign collins and johnson!

  22. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Hold up. I have not seen anything about an ADDITIONAL $7m. And I’ve checked the cap websites.

  23. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    So, is Florio saying last year PLUS this year is 14 mil? Because If he’s saying Johnson gets 14 mil this year alone, he is totally wrong.

  24. Pickgrin Says:

    This $ scenario is not being explained properly.

    The “intricate details” of Johnson’s contract are spelled out clearly and simply here:

    Johnson will not be making $14M this year if he is retained. There is no $7M guarantee accelerator.

    He will earn $5M in base salary and a $4M “roster bonus” for a total of $9M this year.

    $7M of this year’s $9M owed is guaranteed. If we cut him now – or any time before the 3rd day of the league year in 2015 – then he walks with $7M + the $9M he got last year and can sign with another team. If he is still on the Bucs roster after the 3rd day of the league year – then $2M more is added to what’s guaranteed in 2015 and his full $9M for this year will be guaranteed.

    After this year – there are no more guarantees and he makes roughly $8.5M per year average over the next 3 years (2016. 17 and 18)

  25. Pickgrin Says:

    So the bottom line is – Johnson will be a Buccaneer this year no matter what – because his entire salary is already mostly guaranteed and they would only save $2M off the salary cap hit by cutting him now.

    If he plays well this year – then he will probably be retained for 2016 for $8.25M.

    If not then he will be cut and the Johnson “experiment” will officially be a colossal bust.

    I hope Licht learned a valuable lesson in this instance. If a FA player won’t sign with out a big chunk guaranteed – then he’s not your guy. You can’t throw $ at a lack of talent problem and hope to realistically solve it as a general rule. Concentrate on drafting quality football players who are talented enough to stick around beyond their 1st contract and you won’t find yourself always reaching for and overpaying for FA “talent” that too often winds up not being what you hoped or expected.

    Johnson and Collins this last year were the poster boys for how NOT to run a successful free agency campaign. Should have stuck exclusively with the more value FA type players like Verner and McDonald to try plugging holes.

  26. ddneast Says:

    Cells, you are somewhat right about Dummynick although at the time he was writing deals the Bucs were no where close to hitting the cap.
    Still! I have as much problem with this deal as I did with the Reavis deal.
    They were signing Michael Johnson not the monster from the Texans. 14 mill for one year for any DE is way to much money.
    Smacks of desperation.

  27. Pickgrin Says:

    $9M – not $14M ddneast