The Tampa Bay Buccaneers goal this offseason was to get some help on their defensive line. As SI.com reports on March 11, the Buccaneers did exactly that by agreeing to a five-year deal with free agent defensive lineman Michael Johnson.
The deal will earn Johnson $43.75 million over the five years with $24 million guaranteed. The amount of guaranteed dollars will rank Johnson fourth amongst defensive ends in the league.
As the Buccaneers struggled to get to the quarterback in 2013, they may be paying for what Johnson did with the Cincinnati Bengals in his 2012 season. During that season, Johnson recorded 11.5 sacks versus just 3.5 sacks in 2013. At just 26 years old, Johnson definitely has the ability to be one of the top pass rushers in the league as he was in 2012.
Tampa Bay’s new head coach Lovie Smith made improving the pass rush his top focus when he took over the team.
“Being off this past year, I had a chance to watch a lot of football so I knew about some of the players and I knew there was a great foundation in place, led by Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David. We’re a 4-12 team in a tough division. But we feel like we can gain ground.”
Adding the talent of Michael Johnson can only help the team improve on quarterback sacks and pressure. The team finished last in sacks with just 35.
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