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NFL free agency rumors: Buccaneers will go after Michael Johnson

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to upgrade their pass rush, which means they're now looking at defensive end Michael Johnson in free agency.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will make a big push to sign defensive end Michael Johnson, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The Buccaneers have made it clear that they want a top-flight starter at defensive end, someone who can be a dominant force as a pass-rusher, and Johnson fits that bill more than any other free agent.

Johnson's the only top-tier starter available in free agency, even though he put up just 3.5 sacks last year. Pro Football Focus charted 61 pressures for the Bengals defensive end, and added nine passes defensed as well. He was one of the top pass-rushing defensive ends in the NFL last year, despite a lack of sacks, and was dominant against the run as well.

Johnson won't come cheap, however, and the Bucs won't be the only team going after Johnson, and they have several other holes to fill, which means an expensive free agent may not fit their strategy. And, of course, this is a time of year filled with fake rumors and misinformation -- so take this with a grain of salt.