The Buccaneers have officially announced the release of DE Michael Johnson.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) March 11, 2015
- Pro Football Talk recently reported that the Bengals are hoping to bring back Johnson if he were to be released by the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers signed him to a five-year, $43.875 million deal with $23 million guaranteed last March, so this is clearly a major disappointment from their end.
Tampa Bay also released OT Anthony Collins after just one year, so their 2014 offseason looks pretty bad in hindsight.
According to OverTheCap.com, releasing Johnson outright will free up $2 million in cap space, while also creating $7 million in dead money. Waiting to June 1 to release him would have given them $4 million in cap room to go along with $4 million in dead money.
Johnson, 27, recorded 27 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles over the course of 14 games for the Buccaneers. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 53 defensive end in a 4-3 system out of 59 qualifying players.