Bucs already active in free agency

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TAMPA, FL (The Spread) – The new year in the NFL is set to kick off this afternoon but teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are already busy.

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According to Josina Anderson, the Bucs agreed to terms with defensive end Michael Johnson, formerly of the Bengals, on a five-year, $42.75 million contract. The deal also includes $24 million in guaranteed money, which is the fourth-highest figure among defensive ends. Johnson will play right end opposite Adrian Clayborn in Lovie Smith’s defense, making former second-round pick Da’Quan Bowers a backup. Johnson should benefit from playing alongside Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy (photo).

Several reports have also reported that the Bucs want to trade cornerback Darrelle Revis and according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Browns may be interested. Revis has already told the Tampa Bay that he’s unwilling to take a pay cut in order to facilitate a trade, which makes dealing him an issue for the Bucs. He’s set to make $16 million in 2014 and interested parties will be reluctant to part with that much money, as well as a draft pick in terms of compensation for Revis.

The Bucs acquired Revis last year from the Jets in exchange for a first-round pick but the hiring of Smith made Revis expendable. The reason is that Smith likes to employ a Cover 2 defense, which isn’t Revis’ strengths. In fact, former Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano used Revis in a similar system last year before finally allowing him to play more man-to-man towards the end of the season. And at $16 million, it doesn’t make sense for the Bucs to underutilize Revis under Smith.

According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Buccaneers were sitting at 50/1 long shots to win the 2015 Super Bowl before free agency began. They’re also 25/1 to win the NFC title, which also makes them significant long shots.

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