Free agency doesn’t officially begin until Tuesday at 4 p.m., but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have already landed a big one in defensive end Michael Johnson, and look to make a splash with more acquisitions.
Earlier Tuesday, Johnson and the Bucs agreed to a five-year deal worth $43.75 million and a reported $42 million guaranteed.
It likely won’t end there. A league source told Sports Talk Florida that the Bucs are also looking to sign Johnson’s teammate on the Bengals, offensive tackle Anthony Collins . At this point, the Bucs look to be the highest bidder and willing to fork over $6.5 to $7 million.
The Bucs have a need at wide receiver and are looking for an impact player on special teams. The Bucs are one of multiple teams who have expressed interest in signing Chiefs wide receiver Dexter McCluster. Bears kick returner Devin Hester is also an option there.
The Bucs are also one of four teams at player for Bears backup quarterback Josh McCown, who could not only mentor Mike Glennon but unseat him for the starting job.
In eight games this past season, including five starts, McCown went 3-2, completing 149 of 224 passes for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception, finishing with a 109.0 quarterback rating.
Of course how much the Bucs are able to do in free agency depends on what happens with cornerback Darrelle Revis. The team has been shopping him for the last three weeks. If they are unable to find a trade partner, he is expected to be released, which frees up $16 million in cap space .
A viable replacement for him would be cornerback Charles Tillman, who played for Smith in Chicago.