Free agent defensive end Michael Johnson is planning to spend the night in Minnesota before shipping out Saturday morning for a scheduled trip to Cincinnati and Sunday's visit with the team. Johnson spent Friday at Winter Park, conducting a visit with former defensive coordinator and current Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman.
According to reports, Johnson isn't expected to sign and it's unknown if an offer was actually made but it appears that negotiations did take place. Mark Craig with the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes that Johnson told the team that he had a good visit with the Vikings. The St. Paul Pioneer Press adds that Johnson plans "to take a few days to make a decision".
Johnson, who signed a five-year deal worth $43.75 million last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was released earlier this week after a disappointing season in an effort to help save money against the cap. During his only season with the Buccaneers, Johnson posted four quarterback sacks and two forced fumbles while managing an ankle injury that never seemed fully recovered.
The Cincinnati Bengals were immediately interested in reuniting with Johnson to the point that when he was released, the team "put on the brakes" with defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who was visiting with the team on Wednesday. Fairley signed with the St. Louis Rams on Friday.