Cincinnati Bengals Defensive End Michael Johnson will not be donning the orange and stripes for the Bengals next season. The pro-bowl defensive end agreed to a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday. The deal is reportedly worth 5 years and $43.75M with $24M guaranteed.
The deal cannot be signed until after 4pm ET Tuesday, the sides have agreed to the deal, just waiting for the deadline to make it official. Tampa Bay is making moves and the Johnson deal all but assures corner back Darrelle Revis will be released by the Bucs to make room for more players, Johnson would be included in that.
As for the Bengals this is a massive loss for them but not an unexpected loss. Johnson was the Bengals third round pick in 2009, the franchise tag was placed on him last season. This offseason though the Bengals knew they could not match the deal that Johnson would receive, thus why he is now a Buccaneer.
Johnson was instrumental in the great play by the Bengals defense last season. In 2012 Johnson has 11.5 sacks, in 2013 he answered with only 3.5. While that looks like a little number keep in mind that while Johnson was being double teamed by the opposing team that freed up others on the defense to pressure the quarterback and break into the back field. Johnson was a big pawn last year, he is dangerous when left alone and made the team dangerous when he was the focal point.
Cincinnati now has to work to replace Johnson, Wallce Gilberry will likely step into Johnson’s start as a starter while the Bengals will likely draft a defensive end in April’s draft.
RFB will keep you updated on the Bengals free agency as more information becomes available.