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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs agree to five-year deal with DE Michael Johnson



The Bucs have opened free agency with a big splash, landing the outside pass-rusher they covet by agreeing to terms with Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson on a five-year contract.

The deal can be signed and made official until 4 p.m. today, when free agency officially begins with the new league year, but ESPN, which first reported the agreement, said it will be for $43.75 million, including $24 million guaranteed. 

Johnson, 27, is 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds, and had 11.5 sacks for the Bengals in 2012, earning the team's franchise tag. His numbers dropped to 3.5 last year, but he was ranked by experts among the most coveted free agents at any position.

The Bucs have also been linked to another highly touted Bengals free agent, tackle Anthony Collins, who started only seven games last year but did not allow a sack in 592 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 11:30am]


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