Cincinnati Bengals Bring Michael Johnson Back


Nov 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (93) reacts during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati won 41-20. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

For the 2014 season, the Cincinnati Bengals finished dead last in the NFL with only 20 sacks. That’s was because they lost 2009 third-round pick Michael Johnson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last offseason. The Bengals picked Johnson for his amazing potential at 6’7″, 260-pounds, long arms and great speed.

And in his fourth year in 2012, Johnson had developed enough to start playing up to that potential. He had a career year with 11.5 sacks and it led to the franchise tag he played under the in 2013. Then in 2014, he was regarded as the best pass-rusher available in free agency and the Buccaneers signed him.

The Bengals wanted to keep him but they were to far up against the salary cap to match the Buccaneers. The loss got the Bengals a 2015 compensatory but it appears now that the loss in no longer. That’s because Johnson had an injury riddled first campaign with the Buccaneers and they cut him.

The Bengals were then able to bring him back to Cincinnati for $20 million over four years. So now, the Bengals have their talented player back to go along with whoever their compensatory pick will be. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins tore his ACL in 2013 when they were last supposed to play together.

Atkins made his way back to the football field in 2014 but Johnson followed the money to Tampa Bay. Now, going into 2015 Atkins is healthy and Johnson is back so they are set to be able to rush the passer. Having and interior-rusher and and edge-rusher will have the Bengals defense ready to hunt down AFC North quarterbacks.