The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have landed one of the prized pass rushers on the market.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers agreed with former Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson to a contract worth $43.75 million over five years, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson. Johnson only had five sacks last season, but his potential is obvious and he was creating more pressure than the sack numbers indicated.
While Johnson's deal can't officially be signed until 4 p.m. ET and will be pending a subsequent physical, the two sides have agreed to terms and have reached "an understanding," according to Anderson.
Most of the Buccaneers' pressure came from the interior of the defensive line last season. Gerald McCoy has been the most disruptive player on Tampa's defensive line while the defensive ends have been inconsistent at best.
With the addition of Johnson, the team has added a starter and now have solid depth at the position, according to Sander Philipse of SB Nation's Buccaneers blog, Bucs Nation:
Johnson should immediately help the team's defensive end position, and he's likely to start opposite Adrian Clayborn. With Da'Quan Bowers, Steven Means and William Gholston the Bucs have three athletic and talented backups to add to their two starters. The team will hope to develop at least one of those three players into a quality pass-rusher.
Arguably the best defensive end on the market this offseason, Johnson is only 27 years old and should have plenty of production left in the tank. Considering he had 16 quarterback hits and 40 quarterback hurries in 2013, the Buccaneers may have found the impact player on the edge they've desperately been needing for years.