MICHAEL JOHNSON: Soon after the starting gun for free agency was fired, Johnson signed a five-year deal worth $43.75 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The deal included $24 million in guarantees.
Because the Bengals drafted Margus Hunt in the second-round of the 2013 NFL draft and re-signed Wallace Gilberry, Robert Geathers and extended Carlos Dunlap last year, Cincinnati had anticipated this. Don't get me wrong: Gilberry and Geathers aren't Johnson, and we're not sure where Hunt stands in his development.
ANTHONY COLLINS: A bidding war ensued between the Buccaneers and Washington Redskins, with Tampa Bay taking the proverbial lead. Collins is expected to visit with the Buccaneers soon and may sign as soon as Wednesday. Cincinnati's response to the expectation of losing Collins is up in the air. We're assuming that Andrew Whitworth slides back out to left tackle and Cincinnati hopes that Clint Boling is ready by the regular season at left guard -- it appears that they're looking at options if he's not ready (more on that below).
ANDREW HAWKINS: Now that the Cincinnati Bengals are planning to match Cleveland's four-year offer sheet, you can go ahead put Hawkins in Cincinnati's plans on a four-year deal worth $12.2 million. However, planning to match and actually matching are two different things, but the Bengals have six days to make it official. If they change their minds and let Hawkins leave, they'll receive no compensation.
KYLE COOK: The biggest surprise from Paul Brown stadium. Cincinnati rarely cuts a starter in the middle of a contract, but they did on Tuesday by releasing Cook. Cincinnati saves $2.1 million against the cap and frees $2.7 million in cash commitments. It's unlikely that Cincinnati made the move to sign a free agent; rather they're going to use a combination of Trevor Robinson, T.J. Johnson, maybe Mike Pollak and perhaps a draft pick to compete as the team's future starter.
UCHE NWANERI: Scheduled to visit with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday. We're assuming this: Because Boling's rehabilitation from a torn ACL is offering an unpredictable recovery, the team is planning a contingency if he's not ready. If he's signed, he'd either be the primary backup behind Mike Pollak (who would fill in for Boling at left guard) and Kevin Zeitler, or start at left guard (if Pollak plays center).
TAYLOR MAYS: Continuing a theme that the Bengals had been promising since February, Cincinnati re-signed Mays on Tuesday, according to Jason La Canfora with CBS Sports.
BRANDON TATE: Another Bengals player returning, as per the team's 2014 commitment of retaining their own.
S Taylor Mays
WR Brandon Tate
OG Mike Pollak
DE Michael Johnson (Buccaneers)
C Kyle Cook (released)
OG Uche Nwaneri