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Michael Johnson, Buccaneers agree on five-year, $43M deal

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Michael Johnson's headed to Tampa Bay.
Michael Johnson's headed to Tampa Bay.(USATSI)

More NFL offseason: Mock Drafts | Prospect Rankings | Pro Days | Top free agents

There's a new regime in Tampa Bay, but they're taking a similarly aggressive approach to free agency as the prior front office. And it looks like the Buccaneers have landed one of the top free agents available this offseason in defensive end Michael Johnson.

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora hears Johnson's deal with the Buccaneers, which will likely be announced after free agency begins at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, will average around $8.5 million per year with $24 million guaranteed.

Josina Anderson of ESPN firms up those numbers, noting it's a five-year, $43.75 million deal for Johnson in Tampa Bay.

That's a pretty reasonable deal for our No. 5 overall free agent, especially since the Buccaneers desperately need help with their pass rush.

Gerald McCoy is a rock in the center of the line when healthy and Adrian Clayborne has upside at defensive end, but they need a true No. 1 pass rusher to chase quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan.

There are concerns with Johnson's overall game but he should work well in Lovie Smith's defense. His season in 2013 -- he had just 3.5 sacks with the Bengals in a contract year after being franchise tagged the season before -- should give you pause.

The Buccaneers will look like a very different team in 2014. That could be a good thing.

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