In trading for George Johnson, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave up a fifth-round pick, the team announced today. The Bucs gave up the 168th overall pick for Johnson and a seventh-round pick (231st overall). That fifth-round pick is the last non-compensatory pick in that round.
That's a pretty hefty price for a player they could simply have signed to a prohibitively expensive contract the Lions could never have matched in the first place. It's not like the Bucs spent all that cap space on free agents this year, so they could easily have avoided the need to give up a draft pick. On the other hand, it's not like late fifth-round picks have a high success rate.
The Bucs gave up the fifth-round pick they received from New England in exchange for Jonathan Casillas and their own sixth-round pick. Tampa Bay still has a fifth-round pick from Baltimore, which the Bucs received for center Jeremy Zuttah last year. They still have one pick in every round, and two in the seventh round.
George Johnson was the team's fourth target at defensive end, after they tried to sign Trent Cole, Derrick Morgan and Greg Hardy but failed to add any of them. So a little desperation is pretty understandable at this point -- but that desperation could conceivably have been avoided with some more aggressive offers earlier in the offseason -- or with Johnson, for that matter.