DE Michael Johnson has supposedly agreed to a 5yr, $43.75M deal with the Bucs. $24M of that is guaranteed which is the 4th highest total among DEs. Not bad for a guy that had 3.5 sacks last year! Even with his low sack total last season, Johnson was still Pro Football Focus’ 4th ranked 4-3 DE, just behind Greg Hardy and ahead of Michael Bennett. He is an elite run stopper and had 13 sacks in 2012 so the ability is there. Johnson isn’t officially a Buc until the start of free agency today at 4 PM EST, but it sounds like a done deal. With DEs Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers already on the roster and all-pro DT Gerald McCoy in the middle, the addition of Johnson gives Lovie Smith a defensive line that should be able to generate consistent pressure without blitzing.
Well, it’s Lamarr Houston or bust now for the Bears. Houston is the only premier DE left on the free agent market which should drive up his price and maybe drive a few more teams into the bidding. Great. As of last night the Bears are rumored to be targeting Houston, so hopefully they can get something done today!