The Countdown: Worst 20 Buccaneers Personnel Moves Of The Past 10 Years — No. 11

July 17th, 2015

ghostIt’s the countdown feature you’ve all been waiting for. Not really, but on the heels of last year’s award-winning “20 Worst Buccaneers Of The Past 10 years” feature, Joe had to deliver.

A list like this is highly subjective and toxic. Fits of rage were common during production meetings at world headquarters. Scared interns soiled their pants. Full beer bottles were smashed, and a treasured Rachel Watson poster was accidently destroyed. But order was restored.

Current and former general managers and head coaches might not like what’s coming, but it had to be done. This is what happens when your team is 30-70 in its last 100 games.

No. 11 — Michael “Ghost” Johnson

Tampa Bay’s ghastly expensive free-agency signing last year had to make this list, but it’s not just about money, as in the $16 million the Bucs flushed away.

How did Jason Licht and Lovie Smith whiff so badly on Johnson?

First, Johnson’s own agent said he “wasn’t a great pass rusher before he got to Tampa Bay.” That alone should render any Bucs fans speechless. Keep in mind Johnson arrived in Tampa coming off a 3 1/2-sack season.

Johnson also came into Lovie Smith’s defense having to adjust to lining up in a much wider position at defensive end. He wasn’t comfortable, and there was no evidence he could thrive in that situation.

A Week 1 ankle sprain messed him up, but after healing — and Leslie Frazier said Johnson’s ankle was fine later in the season — Johnson played like a man in need of Viagra. He played disinterested, and the Bucs had no problem handing him $7 million in guaranteed money in March to keep him off this year’s roster.

Joe thinks about the investment the Bucs claim they made into Jameis Winston’s character and background. What about the investment into Johnson, who didn’t want to be in Tampa, and didn’t want to leave it all on the field?

Joe sure hopes the Bucs had a different Sherlock Holmes crew investigating Jameis.

Johnson even told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he was glued to all things Bengals after joining the Bucs.

In the end, Johnson was just one big free-agent gamble that didn’t damage the franchise much. So at least that’s something.

No. 12 Sabby The Goat

No. 13 — Free Agent Inactivity After 10-6, 2010 Season

No. 14 — Scaredy Cat Dexter Jackson

No. 15 — Firing Jon Gruden

No. 16 — Choosing — And Drafting For — The Jim Bates Defense

No. 17 — Drafting Cadillac Williams Over DeMarcus Ware

No. 18 — Garrett Gilkey: Virgin Center

No. 19 — Cutting Chris Jones

No. 20 — Failing on Brett Favre trade

21 Responses to “The Countdown: Worst 20 Buccaneers Personnel Moves Of The Past 10 Years — No. 11”

  1. rayjay1122 Says:

    If Ghost is # 11, I can’t wait to see numbers 10 through 1.

  2. Buccfan37 Says:

    Talk about grasping at thin air, or ghosts, if the Bucs were the average business they would be out of business by now.

  3. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    It was a move made in desperation. Whether in football or any other area of life moves…hires…made in desperation rarely pan out.

    Just retired in June after managing a dental office the past 18 years. When we had the luxury of time in our employee search we did OK. When we HAD to have a warm body that’s usually what we ended up with…a warm body.

    Michael Johnson turned out to be nothing more than a warm body. The result of too much desperation.

  4. mike Says:

    Why not give a guy a ton of money coming off a 3 sack season???????????

  5. JMN Says:

    Very excited to see the top 10! Hoping the Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown loser duo fighting for the starting job makes the list.

  6. tampa2bucsforever Says:

    So Anthony Collins must have made the top ten? Cousins top ten too? Back to Michael Johnson. He is the poster child for the Buccaneers free agency class of 2014 underachievers. He went from 13 sacks in 2012 to Pro Football Focus #4 rated 4-3 DE last year to #53 with just four sacks last year. I have heard about the ankle and about the new wide stance. In the end I really believe that you can not take cold weather players and move them to Tampa and expect them to be successful. The heat and humidity are more than some players can deal with. He just seems uninterested and just going thru the motions. In the end the ghost is who won after signing a a five-year deal worth $43.75 million with Tampa. The deal includes $24 million in guaranteed money. Bengals then gave Michael Johnson a 4-yr, $20 million deal that pays him $6 million this year. With Bucs’ $7 million, Johnson makes $13M in 2015. 13M for Casper. It is just not fair.

  7. The Buc Realist Says:

    Am I the only one that is starting to worry that the whole point of this series is to slam some regimes while protecting Mark Dominik’s tenure as GM???

    semi-interested in the top 10, but I am afraid that I already know the results!!!

  8. buc4life1979 Says:

    I VERY HIGHLY SERIOUSLY DOUBT That Ghost Johnson, when the Bucs were interviewing him, came out and proclaimed to them that he wasn’t a good pass rusher, couldn’t adapt to lining an extra foot or two on the outside more, and was going to stay a homer for the team that drafted him even though that team wouldn’t give him the money the Bucs were willing to. The Bucs may have been desperate for pass rushing help last season, but it’s a given that the Ghost presented himself in the most positive and wiling to be coached way possible to secure that deal.

  9. Buc1987 Says:

    Realist….I think Joe might make the firing of Dominik #1 just to spite you.

  10. The Buc Realist Says:


    If that happens, clear the way to the Skyway! And if you show up I might throw the belly-flop!!!

  11. duthsty rhothdes Says:

    This just builds more blocks as to why the mid 80s to late 90s are replaying themselves again since the firing of gruden… tough to be a bucs fan reading this list and how stupid the leadership has been past 10 years

  12. mac Says:

    I agree… It just goes to show you – desperate teams do stupid desperate things…

  13. LakelandBuc Says:

    We can trade Mike Glennon and a 3rd rounder to the Seahawks and bring Michael Bennett back to the Bucs.

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    It is truly amazing that Michael Johnson made $22M between last year and this one. $16M of which came from the Bucs for 1 crappy season in 2014. One of the worst “big name” free agency signings ever for this team. Good riddance – back to your beloved Bungals…

  15. Another J Says:

    The Ghost made signing Fat Albert look like a good deal!

  16. The Buc Realist Says:

    16 million for 4 sacks does not sound so bad when you compare 16 million, 1st and 4th round draft picks for 2 Ints!!!!

  17. SteveK Says:

    Dominik better be on the majority of the top ten. There is no doubt that the Buccaneer franchise is so damn dreadful because of Dominiks 5 years of flawed GMing.

    If the rest of the list doesn’t touch on Dominiks head scratching moves, then a segment of fans, including myself, will be scarlet disappointed.

    C’mon Joe, please touch on Dmok’s philosophy to NOT draft OL, or his bad drafting.

    Jason Licht got us Mile Evans and Jameis, now it’s time for Lovie Smith to get the D going. If Lovie plays passive ball, and we lose, I’m going to call for his head. I’d much rather watch a dumb SOB head coach go tooth and nails and rush the victory formation, rather than have to hear a head coach mention his intention of not trying to score at the end of the first half.

    If we suck, and Lovie is stubborn, then I hope for damn sure we see billboards erected in his honor. It’s only fair.

  18. SteveK Says:

    Michael Johnson is not s good football player. Great love letting him go in favor of a lesser talented warrior.

    I’d rather see his roster spot go towards our number one waiver priority.

    Any chance Evan Mathis comes to Tampa?

  19. Capt.Tim Says:

    Buc Realist- think you deductions are Spot on!
    Making Dim our GM was undoubtably the wort decision in Franchise history.
    But I bet his hiring is no where to be seen on this list.

  20. The Real Malloy Says:

    Agreed with everyone..I LOVED Dom…..however, he made so many bone head decisions. I think he would admit that to some extent, but definitely a great dude.

    He should make the top 10 for letting him be GM Joe’s. You know it, I know it, Realist and 87 know it…just let it happen…shhhhhhhhhh

  21. The Real Malloy Says:

    easily my creepiest post yet