Defensive line help could be coming fast for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Multiple reports have defensive end Michael Johnson, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals, likely to sign with Tampa Bay when free agents can execute contracts with teams starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Johnson, 27, was a heavy target for new coach Lovie Smith and new general manager Jason Licht in their attempt to re-make a defensive line that was part of a unit that only produced 35 sacks last season -- tied for 23rd in the league.
Since Smith's arrival, the coach has said his defense requires pressure up front to be effective. Bucs defensive ends were lacking in that category last year, with Adrian Clayborn (six sacks), Da'Quan Bowers (one) and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (one) not producing enough for Smith's liking.
No Bucs player has earned at least 10 sacks in a season since former defensive end Simeon Rice produced 14 in 2005.
Johnson should offer an immediate upgrade. He was one of the most coveted defensive free age...