A Bengals Offensive Lineman?

March 25th, 2022

Bucs GM Jason Licht

Very, very odd Bucs transaction this morning but at the end of the day, Joe trusts the Tampa Bay braintrust here.

This morning, the Bucs signed former Bengals offensive lineman Fred Johnson, not to be confused with former Bengals stiff defensive end Ghost Johnson, who once upon a time during the Lost Decade haunted the Bucs.

This signing today initially gave Joe the shivers. The Bengals last year probably had the worst offensive line in the NFL.

If the Bengals had just an OK offensive line, maybe a below-average offensive line, they would be Super Bowl champs. Go watch the All-22 video of the Bengals’ last play in the Super Bowl. Ja’Marr Chase was wide-arse open behind the Rams’ defense down the right sideline, but Joe Burrow didn’t have time to set up and release the ball.

Burrow was sacked 70 times in 21 games last season! And the Bucs signed a guy from this sorry position group? To maybe help protect a 45-year old quarterback who is the meal ticket for every Bucs employee?

But you know what? The Bucs’ braintrust has street cred. How they have turned the Bucs from the NFC’s fire hydrant in a dog park to one of the league’s most dominant teams is remarkable to Joe. So Joe giveds the Bucs the benefit of the doubt here. The hierarchy has earned the trust.

Especially when it comes to Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht picking an offensive lineman. The man has a gifted eye there. So Joe is confident Licht sees something in Johnson to take a chance on the guy. He surely cannot be expensive.

Johnson started eight games for Cincinnati the past three seasons, mostly at tackle.

53 Responses to “A Bengals Offensive Lineman?”

  1. pewter941 Says:

    He must be horrible if the Bengals let him go.

  2. Canabuc Says:

    Don’t know much about him he only played less than a hundred snaps last year. However Pro football focus graded him out well in the snaps that he played. He is fairly young and he is quite big at 326 lb. He also played at florida.
    Sometimes lineman have the raw tools but need the right coaching. I have great Trust in both Jason light as a GM when it comes to offensive lineman signings as well as our coaching staff to coach him up to be a good swing guard or tackle.

  3. Canabuc Says:

    He was let go after they signed a combination of Lael Collins Alex Kappa and Karras from the rams.
    He was a restricted free agent and they decided to waive him after their three expensive free agent signings at the offensive line position.

  4. DarenGibo Says:

    I like the signing. We definitely needed more depth at OL during that loss to LA.. not knowing much about the dude, BUT, JL does a fantastic job of finding gold at the position.

  5. Cobraboy Says:

    Johnson is a brawler in the run game.

    I suspect we will see an improved ground game with less reliance on Brady’s arm.

  6. JGhotier Says:

    He graded pretty decent last year and was the highest graded lineman on the Bengals’ line too. So what makes that weird, if he was their highest graded and they had such an awful O-Line, then why was he a healthy scratch most games last year. None of that really adds up.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    He may be a replacement for Wells if Wells isn’t resigned….

    Like Joe says….you absolutely have to trust Licht with Olinemen……he’s pretty good with WRs also….kickers….not so much.

  8. #8 Says:

    I read this as defense coming in the draft!

  9. Joe Says:

    He may be a replacement for Wells if Wells isn’t resigned….

    Thought that.

  10. Marine Buc Says:

    Fred Johnson is probably an upgrade over Josh Wells who has been our backup OT for the past few seasons.

  11. Ash Says:

    Yup seems like a wells replacement seems like a decent depth piece.

  12. BucBrady Says:

    The dude was a healthy scratch for multiple games last year. This signing is…weird. But hey, if there’s anything Licht knows how to do it’s identify lineman.

  13. Amar Says:

    Camp fodder

  14. Goatfarmer Says:

    It’s not like Josh Wells is an all-pro. Good to add someone for depth and see if he can be coached up.

  15. PassingThru Says:

    I didn’t think much of Josh Wells, so this could well(s) be an upgrade.

    I wanted a good developmental OT in the draft since last season. Hopefully Johnson proves to be a keeper, saving a mid-round pick for an additional CB or TE (assuming a CB and DT are taken earlier).

  16. Bird Says:

    “That boy good…he good…hhmmmmhhhmmm…good and terrible”

  17. tampabayallday Says:

    82.8 PFF grade last season. Not bad for a back up and he’s only 24. Solid depth.

  18. Redd Says:

    Wells is horrible….he constantly gets beat at RT on pass plays. Johnson maybe worth looking at

  19. Allbuccedup Says:

    The Bengals were 4-1 when started at tackle. He can play right or left and also played some guard. Sometimes I think Licht is smarter than people give him credit for. He just needs to stay away from drafting kickers too early. Now he needs to get a plan is to how we can draft left guard Zion Johnson from Boston College. I don’t think he will last until pick #27.

  20. BuxfaninTX Says:

    He has the dubious distinction of being tendered, then Cincinnati sigened Lael Collins, then cut…..all in the same day…SMH

  21. Ed Says:

    Joe, not worried, its not like he will be a starter. He is depth. The Bucs had many injuries last year and depth is important. They’ll draft an offensive lineman for certain. This Johnson is in case of an emergency. You never know in the NFL, one team’s thrash heap can be another team’s project who turns out to be a good pro.

    Cam Brate was released by New Orleans in 2015 and has been solid since.

    Shelton Quarles was released by Dolphins and played in CFL before signing with Bucs. He was more than solid, had a great career.

    Current Buc Brashad Perriman has been dropped by a few teams.

    I wouldn’t make much of a big deal about a lineman being picked up for depth.

  22. SlyPirate Says:

    The Bucs scouts have guys they keep their eyes on, a la Shaq Barrett. When they get cut, the Bucs pounce. This dude must have real promise if the Bucs moved in that quickly.

  23. Pickgrin Says:

    Fred Johnson is supposedly a good run blocker and likely not so good at pass blocking. He’s also “versatile” have played at both Tackle spots and also inside.

    His deal is probably not much over vet min.

    Just guessing that the Bucs may see him as an upgrade to Wells or at least competition for the times they want to bring a 6th lineman in to run block on goal line or 3rd/4th and short to go situations.

  24. sasquatch Says:

    Given that it was a cheap signing and he’s just there to compete for backup OT, it makes sense. No one is handing him a job. He’s still young and a massive man. Perhaps he ends up as a practice squad, developmental player. He’s only 24, so there might be some upside there. It would be nice to develop a young OT for backup instead of relying on journeyman types on one year contracts every year. We need to do better than Wells.

  25. Beeej Says:

    Is this guy better than Josh Wells? Because if Josh Wells had played better, we might ALSO have been Super Bowl champs

  26. SOEbuc Says:

    Can’t be “Wirfs” than wells old ass. Talk about losing the most needed player in the division playoffs.

  27. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Beej

    Fred Johnson struggles in pass protection but is a very solid and nasty run blocker.

    He will be our seventh lineman on our goal line or short yardage situations which will be mainly run blocking…

    Not to mention Josh Wells also struggled in both pass and run blocking last year and is turning 32 years old this year. Fred J is 24…

  28. HC Grover Says:

    Maybe Bucs want to draft Defensive Beef..Georgia is on my mind.

  29. StAugBuc Says:

    Giants looking to trade one of their 1st this year for a first next year. If we did that we get a stud DL . . .

  30. HC Grover Says:

    Sail on Sayler

  31. Beeej Says:

    Well if the guy is only 24, he’s still learning

  32. Rod Munch Says:

    Sounds like a pure backup / depth guy who can play multiple spots and has starting experience. Just because Burrow held the ball to long in every game and got sacked doesn’t mean that everyone on his offensive line was to blame.

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    @StAugBuc: If I’m Licht, I might make that trade.

    I’d like one of those Georgia DT’s.

  34. HC Grover Says:

    If Wirfs or Smith get hurt there he is.

  35. BA4President Says:

    Sounds like glorified training camp body. What’s the harm?

  36. StAugBuc Says:

    Cobraboy Says:
    March 25th, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    @StAugBuc: If I’m Licht, I might make that trade.

    I’d like one of those Georgia DT’s.

    Jordan Davis please

  37. SlyPirate Says:

    StAugBuc/Cobraboy … They’re trading for pick #32 next year.

  38. Biff Barker Says:

    The thought process is key here. We gotta bring some guys in and maybe we get lucky. I don’t see a downside here.

    Grover, I like the way you think!

  39. Pewter Power Says:

    He’ll get better but he can’t be much worse than josh wells who was also horrible. I get it the Bucs need more bodies, most teams have a full 90 man rost Bucs are in the 70’s

  40. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    He is a very large Man, and seems to be a good run blocker.
    I trust Licht to spot O Line Talent.
    After all, he found Marpet and Cappa, and drafted Wirfs. OK,.Wirfs was a no brainer who fell to us, but Marpet and Cappa were both from out of the way schools, and Licht dug them out.

  41. Leopold Stotch/BuccaneerButters Says:

    Can’t be worse then Benenoch

  42. Dooley Says:

    So this looks like a project player that is a 3 yr vet, hopefully our staff can get him on schedule and at the very least Johnson serves as depth

  43. Beeej Says:

    The Bengals had just re-signed him as their starting tackle until the guy from Dallas became available, then they abruptly cut him

  44. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Hey, Joe? He was only in 5 games, so odds are good he wasn’t the main issue.

  45. Steve Says:

    Bengals fan here, Johnson is a mauler in run game but below average in pass pro. He is a solid swing tackle, many fans wondered why he was on the bench when starter Riley Reiff got hurt (Bengals then started Isaiah Prince instead). The general consensus is that he is immature – he became quick buddies with the Bengals 2021 second round pick, OG Jackson Carman – and word is they were like the kids on the back of class, bad work ethic, out of shape, etc. But on the other hand they are not bad guys. Johnson could always be seen on the sideline cheering on teammates and genuinely invested in the game. FYI Bengals picked him up on waivers from Steelers a few years ago, who I am guessing dropped him for the same maturity reasons.

  46. Rob Vollat Says:

    Bengals fan here and huge Freddy J fan! The Bengals signed him and cut him so that if any other team wanted to pick him up they would have to pay him the 2.4 million dollars that they had just “signed” him for. Fred Johnson was originally picked up by the Steelers, then the Bengals stole him on waivers when the Steelers moved Fred to the practice squad. When he played OG, he REALLY STRUGGLED; he’s definitely a LT/RT backup – not an IOL backup. He’s a real nice guy and works hard. Wish him the best! But yeah, wanted to clear up the confusion with some of you who said he was probably getting signed for the veteran minimum; When that’s not the case! What the Bengals did was guarantee another team would HAVE to sign him for that same 2.4 million they “signed” him for. They did him a solid! That’s what that whole sign him and then cut him thing was about; the Bengals have done a ton of things like that over the past few years, signing players who incur season ending injuries to one day deals so that they would be given a few million dollars a year via the NFL players association if another team wouldn’t pick them up and other things like that just to help out their players. I wish more teams would do the same for their employees!

    Good luck Freddy!

  47. Mike28277 Says:

    Has played guard and tackle at Florida. Probably see him as a swing to both.

  48. Mike Johnson Says:

    Not Investing in our Defense is going to come back and bite us square in our A’s. And then all you clowns gonna either be going, Why didn’t we or..Bring me the head of DC Bowles. I’m sittin back watchin all this investment in the Offense and not even a third of it in Our Defense. You cannot win a SB without a good Defense. We..ought to know that of all teams.

  49. Coburn Says:

    Yeah mike I wish we’d have spent a bit on d as well. Need a dline and an edge and I don’t really want to trust rookies to explode on the scene.

  50. David Says:

    I don’t know anything about him but this group has done well with O lineman and they’re basically looking at a back up.

  51. steele Says:

    Depth swing tackle with maturity issues. Essentially like a draft pick but with some experience, and maybe some talent. Coming home to Florida.

    From the old Bengals bio:

    A 2019 mid-season waiver acquisition from Pittsburgh, the 6-6, 325-pound Johnson has displayed versatility in Cincinnati with starts at both G and OT … Started two games at RG in 2020, along with one at ROT and three at LOT … Bengals are 4-1 over his two seasons when he starts at one of the OT positions, and in those contests they’ve rushed for a combined 4.7 yards per carry and nine TDs while allowing just three total sacks … Enters 2021 with 18 career games played and seven starts — four at LOT, two at RG and one at ROT … Played four seasons (2015-18) at Florida, and saw time at both RG and RT.

  52. MadMax Says:

    Trade down…..two 2nds….Logan Hall, LG Ed Ingram, 3rd CB Alontae Taylor, 4th P Matt Araiza…..thats where Im at so far

  53. Capt.Tim Says:

    Really weak in Pass protection.
    I think hid future may be at guard.
    Heavy feet for a tackle