CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 14: Charles Johnson #95 of the Carolina Panthers sacks Josh McCown #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 3rd quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 14, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Buccaneers are scheduled to visit with a familiar face this week, PewterReport.com confirmed, as Panthers’ defensive end Charles Johnson will be making a stop in Tampa as part of his free agency tour.
Johnson, who was released on Thursday after nine seasons in Carolina, spent the latter half of last season on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Before that, Johnson had missed just three games from 2010-2014 while recording 52.5 sacks in that span. His production dropped in 2015, notching just one sack and 12 tackles in nine games.
Given his cap hit of $4 million in 2016 and the rise of Kony Ealy, it’s no shock that the Panthers decided to move on from the 29-year old defensive end.
At a reasonable price, though, he could be a solid addition for Tampa Bay. Divisional opponents always have an incentive to steal players from each other, and Johnson would give the Bucs another veteran presence on what is bound to be a young defensive line. Before making the trip to One Buc, Johnson will make his first stop in New York to visit with the Giants on Sunday.
The Buccaneers are expected to go defense heavy in the April NFL Draft, and could select multiple defensive linemen. But having a veteran with Johnson’s pedigree on the roster should help the Bucs defense sooner rather than later, as rookie defensive linemen rarely step in and hit double digit sacks. Aldon Smith was the last defensive linemen to have 10 or more sacks in a season, a feat accomplished in 2011 when the 49ers rookie finished with 14 sacks.
– Mark Cook contributed to this report
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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I hope Johnson can get to Tampa because of the money the giants have.I hope Tampa will be given a chance by some ot these veterans.
The Bucs seem to have an affinity for Johnson’s that don’t work anymore! First there was DE Michael Johnson, then DE George Johnson, now DE Charles Johnson. The Bucs free agency is eerily similar to a Viagra commercial. Lol.
Third time lucky Mac…
I hope we are able to sign him.
Ditto..proven production over several seasons. Hurt last year. Has to be an upgrade for us if he is healthy now.
I’m not so sure??? Only 1 sack in 7 games!! I did want him a couple of years ago, but is he washed up now? He is close to 30 yrs old? If we do take a chance on him, I hope he passes a physical and I trust the front office to do their due diligence. I would rather have R. Ayers to plug a hole short term. Wouldn’t mind taking a chance on Derrick Shelby either. Hey, we could get Johnson and Shelby and not even have to draft a DE at all ??
He had hamstring problems for most of last season. In the playoffs, he recorded 3 sacks in 3 games. It’s possible he is well on the downslide of his career, but it’s also very possible that he just had an unfortunate injury that limited his effectiveness for most of the year, and he can get back to 10ish sack season for the next few years.
Mac, you can call me Ray, you can call me Jay, but don’t call me Johnson!
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