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Free Agency 2014: Bears top target is Michael Bennett, not Michael Johnson

Bengals free agent Michael Johnson still interests the Chicago Bears but Michael Bennett is their first choice.

Ronald Martinez

On Saturday, when teams were allowed to start talking with agents of soon-to-be unrestricted free agents, four teams were linked to Michael Johnson: The Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Chicago Bears.

In the 24 hours since, the Eagles decided not to pursue Johnson. The Vikings re-signed Everson to a five-year deal, which will average out to $8.5 million per year, which may have dropped Johnson for consideration in Minnesota.

Now the level of interest from the Chicago Bears could have been nothing more than exploratory. Brad Briggs with the Chicago Tribune writes that "Johnson is drawing considerable interest but the Bears’ focus is said to be on (Michael) Bennett."

Many reports surfacing about "interest" and "inquiries" are often suspicious for rumor-mongering from within the legal tampering window. One report suggests that at least seven teams are interested in Johnson, however only four teams have been mentioned and three of those teams might be not pursue Johnson beyond exploratory phone calls -- go ahead and call the Bengals a fifth if you want.

That leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have a history of winning the Free Agency Bowl recently, as the front runners.