Buccaneers Release DE Michael Johnson

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Just one year after signing him to a big money, 5-year contract in a high profile move, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released Defensive End Michael Johnson.  He will still get $7 million in guaranteed money his contract called for, but a further $7 million that would have been owed to him tomorrow as a roster bonus is negated by making the transaction now.  The Bucs will gain $2 million in cap space in the deal.

It remains to be seen wher Johnson will land next, but considering he was a highly sought after free agent just one year ago, there should still be plenty of interest now that he is back on the free agent market.  After a disappointing stint in Tampa Bay though, he is probably going to have to settle for less than he signed for just 12 months ago.

He joins Josh McCown and Anthony Collins as players who were high-profile free agent signings for Tampa Bay in 2014 and are no longer part of the roster just one year later.

Speculation is that Johnson could return to his former team, the Cincinatti Bengals, or could re-unite with former Bengals defensive co-ordinator, now Vikings head coach, Mike Zimmer in Minnesota.

The following is the team press release:

Buccaneers Release DE Michael Johnson

Johnson was released on Wednesday after one year with the Buccaneers.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that they have released defensive end Michael Johnson after one year with the team.

Johnson was signed last spring as a free agent after spending the first five years of his career with the Bengals. He appeared in 14 games for the Buccaneers in 2014 with 13 starts.

Johnson has struggled with injuries throughout his tenure in Tampa and ended his season with 27 tackles and four sacks.

On Tuesday, the Bucs announced that they had released offensive lineman Anthony Collins and re-signed Major Wright and Leonard Johnson.