Report: Buccaneers making push to sign Bengals DE Michael Johnson

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Tribune reports the Buccaneers are making a "hard push" to sign free agent DE Michael Johnson.

The Bengals haven't made a lot of noise in the openings days of NFL free agency, but they have gotten off to the kind of start they envisioned. They tendered the contracts of three restricted free agents, the most important of which being Vincent Rey, and all three of them likely will remain in Cincinnati now.

They've also re-signed guard Mike Pollak, who could open the 2014 as a starter if Clint Boling is still rehabbing from his torn ACL.

While it's unfortunate Michael Johnson is all but gone, the Bengals have enough depth at defensive end to not have to pay a good player like Johnson like he's an elite player. So it comes as no surprise there are reports of several teams being interested in MJ, and you can include the Bus as one of them.

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making a "hard push" to sign Johnson. Sportrac.com lists the Bucs with having around $23 million available under the cap.

Johnson finished last season with 34 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles and was one of the top run-defending DEs. He's expected to command a contract that pays him around $7 million per year, so the Bears will have to do some maneuvering to be able to afford Johnson.

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