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Michael Johnson’s Contract With Bengals Could End Up Being Just A One-Year, $6M Deal

According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, Michael Johnson‘s new four-year $20 million contract with the Bengals could end up being just a one-year deal worth $6 million.

Pelissero points out that Johnson has a $2 million roster bonus due in March of next year, which means Cincinnati will have a decision to make regarding the defensive end at that point in time.

The Buccaneers officially released Johnson last week just one year after signing him to a five-year, $43.875 million deal with $23 million guaranteed. In the end, he walked away with $16 million after just one year in Tampa Bay.

The Buccaneers did not include any offset language in his contract, which means his 2015 salary will get added to the salary included in his new agreement with the Bengals. This means Johnson stands to make $13 million in 2015.

The Vikings were also in the mix for Johnson, but the Bengals managed to get a deal in place with him hours after he landed in Cincinnati.

The Bengals’ pass rush really struggled after Johnson departed, so it will be interesting to see what he’s able to do in his return to Cincinnati.

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.