Michael Johnson Signs with Bengals

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One year ago, Michael Johnson was one of the top free agent defensive ends on the market.  He choose to leave the Cincinnati Bengals to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  After picking up $16 million in the first year of his contract with the Bucs, Tampa Bay released him.  Realizing that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence, Johnson has chosen to return to Cincinnati, signing a four-year-deal with the Bengals.

Michael Johnson Signs with Bengals

Johnson will recieve a further $7 million in bonus money from Tampa Bay over the next two years, part of the $23 million that was guaranteed on his contract. With no offsets in his deal, the reported $7 million he will recieve in his first year with the Bengals is all new money.

Johnson was given the franchise tag by the Bengals in 2013, as they could not work out a long-term contract. Now after playing one year in Tampa the Bengals have him back. Without Johnson the Bengals finished 30th in the league with only 23 sacks.

“Our entire organization is just ecstatic about getting Mike back,” Bengals’ coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement. “He’s earned tremendous respect from coaches, teammates and management. He did tremendous things for us while he was here, and we look forward to having him blend back in and uplift us as defensive football team.”

Johnson, 28, played with the Bengals from 2009 to 2013 and recorded 26.5 sacks with Cincinnati, including a career-best 11.5 in 2012.

Main Photo: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports