Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cut Michael Johnson


Aug 16, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Michael Johnson (90) reacts after he recovered a fumble during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have cut defensive end Michael Johnson after one season.

The Bucs signed the former Cincinnati Bengal to a five-year, $43.75 million deal last offseason but have severed ties only a year later.

Johnson played in 14 games last season, registering 27 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles. The Bucs had hoped they signed the player who had 11.5 sacks in 2012 but he was essentially invisible for most of the 2014 season.

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Johnson is the third free agent from last season to be cut, joining Josh McCown and Anthony Collins.

While it was clear the Bucs would cut Collins, and to some extent McCown, it was up in the air if they would move on from Johnson. However, the Bucs’ brass decided to move in a different direction.

The Bucs will gain $2 million in salary cap relief, however, they basically paid Johnson $16 million for one season due to guaranteed money in his contract after making $9 million last season and $7 million in 2015.

The Bucs are now thin at defensive end as Jacquies Smith and William Gholston are the only players currently on the roster who could make an impact.

Trent Cole, who visited the Bucs, signed with Indianapolis Tuesday. Tampa Bay has scheduled a visit with Derrick Morgan who has had more than six sacks in each of the last three seasons.

Next: Bucs Cut Anthony Collins