Deal expected to be announced later on Tuesday evening.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reportedly agreed to a five-year deal worth $43.75m with free-agent defensive end Michael Johnson, according to ESPN.
The deal cannot be announced until after 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, but it is reported that it includes $24m in guaranteed money.
A third-round selection in the 2009 Draft, Johnson signed a four year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals were he was given the franchise tag in 2013 which sent his single-season pay above $11m.
After recording 11.5 sacks two seasons ago, the 27-year-old had a productive year in 2012 but he struggled last season as he had just 3.5 sacks.
Nevertheless, over the few seasons that he spent with the Bengals, he was able to help bolster one of the league’s stronger defensive lines and it appears his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed in Tampa Bay as they look to pledge a significant amount of money on securing his services.
In contrast, it appeared a matter of time before Johnson was to split with the Bengals after they signed defensive tackle Geno Atkins to a five year deal worth $55m while fellow defensive end Carlos Dunlap was signed to a five-year deal worth $40m before last season.
As a result, Johnson emerged as a likely free agent to hit the market this summer and the Bucs have wasted little time in securing his signature.
The NFL Network had previously reported that there was mutual interest between the two, as coach Lovie Smith was keen to bolster his defensive front.
Behind Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn, Tampa also have the likes of Steven Means and William Gholston to form a collective unit that could provide a formidable defense in the NFC South as Darrelle Revis looks set to depart.