With NFL free agency set to kickoff Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, they remain the frontrunners for a Bengals free agent.
It's not Collins though, as defensive end Michael Johnson is now their primary target:
Bucs will be active in free agency, and are frontrunners for DL Michael Johnson (over $8M/year). Also strong push for T Anthony Collins— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 11, 2014
As LaCanfora stated, they are still going to make a strong push for Collins, but paying Johnson that kind of contract could lower their offer for Collins.
As of now, the Bengals' willingness to match whatever the Bucs offer Collins is unknown, but this could end up lower the Bucs offer, thus giving the Bengals a better chance to match their offer. The Redskins are also showing interest in Collins, but they too may not have enough cap space to outbid the Bengals.
The Bucs wouldn't normally have enough cap room to sign both players, but if they cut Darrelle Revis as they're expected to, they'll have more than enough money to outbid Cincy for both players.
How ironic would it be if Johnson signing with another team is what ultimately helps the Bengals keep Collins? The start of free agency looks like it's going to kick-off with quite a bang.