NFL rumors: Updates on Michael Johnson, Danny Amendola, T.J. Ward and more

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions are looking for some major secondary help after a disastrous 2013.

Bucs courting Michael Johnson

New Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith has a reputation for strong, defensive football, and it's no wonder Tampa Bay is now reportedly going after free agent defensive end Michael Johnson.

Johnson is one of the top free agents left on the market and is one of the top pass-rushers out there in the league. He had a down year statistically in 2013, with just 3.5 sacks, but recorded 11.5 the year before and a total of 26.5 in his five years with the Bengals.

T.J. Ward heading to Motor City?

Fifth-year safety T.J. Ward is coming off his first career Pro Bowl season, and he could be headed to Detroit to provide some much-needed secondary help.

Ward, a second-round pick out of Oregon in the 2010 draft, has spent his entire career with Cleveland He recorded 325 tackles with five interceptions and five fumbles forced over his four seasons with the team. Detroit's secondary was one of the worst in the league last year, and Ward would go a long way towards improving that ahead of 2014.

Alterraun Verner receiving high interest

The Lions aren't the only team looking for an instant secondary upgrade, but they're also one of a number of teams looking at former Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner.

A fourth-round pick out of UCLA in the 2010 draft, Verner also made his first Pro Bowl in 2013 after a breakout year of sorts; his five interceptions ranked him fifth in the league. Verner picked off 11 passes in his four years in Tennessee, with 50 passes defended.

Danny Amendola decision coming Tuesday

The New England Patriots will have to make a decision soon on Danny Amendola, as the receiver will earn a $2 million bonus as soon as Wednesday strikes.

The team could cut him (or try to trade him), but he's not making an exorbitant amount of money and may just stick around. After spending four years with the Rams, Amendola joined the Pats last season, catching 54 passes for 633 yards and two touchdowns. Injuries cut his season short, but he still ranked second on the team in receptions and yards.

Henry Melton leaving Chicago?

Defensive lineman Henry Melton has been with the Chicago Bears for each of the four years of his career, but that could soon be at an end.

A Pro Bowler in 2012, Melton's season was cut short in 2013, and he played in just three games. In 2011-12, Melton combined for 13 sacks, and could be a fine addition to a defensive front if he can stay healthy.

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