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Michael Johnson (defensive end)

Michael David Johnson (born February 7, 1987) is an American football defensive end who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft and has also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played college football at Georgia Tech.

Michael Johnson
refer to caption
Johnson with the Bengals in 2017.
Free agent
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1987-02-07) February 7, 1987 (age 32)
Selma, Alabama
Height:6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Weight:280 lb (127 kg)
Career information
High school:Plantersville (AL) Dallas County
College:Georgia Tech
NFL Draft:2009 / Round: 3 / Pick: 70
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:398
Forced fumbles:8
Fumble recoveries:4
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at

Early yearsEdit

Johnson played high school football at Dallas County High School in Plantersville, Alabama.[1] Playing tight end, Johnson was the team captain and MVP for coach Richard Bush. As a junior, he had 25 receptions for 300 yards and three touchdowns. He caught 42 passes for 650 yards and six touchdowns as a senior while making 92 tackles and 14 sacks on defense. Johnson was also an outstanding basketball player, who averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds as a junior. Johnson Graduated valedictorian of his class.[2]

College careerEdit

As a senior at Georgia Tech, Johnson, in 2008, ended the regular season with Recorded 46 tackles (28 solos) as he led the team and finished third in the conference with nine sacks and 17.5 stops for losses and two forced fumbles. He was voted as an AFCA coaches First-team All-American with the likes of Brian Orakpo and Terrence Cody.[3] He also garnered first team All-ACC honors as well as numerous other accolades.

In 2007, Johnson played in 13 games and started one. He had 21 tackle (11 solo) and six went for losses. He had four sacks and forced three fumbles and recovered one. He also blocked two kicks. The previous season, 2006, he played in and started all 12 games and had 34 tackles (25 solo) and six were for a loss. He recorded five sacks and forced three fumbles and broke up two passes. In 2005, as a true freshman, he played in 11 games and had 5 solo tackles and one assisted for a total of six tackles, one going for a loss. He also recorded one sack and forced one fumble.[4]

On May 2, 2015, after six seasons in the NFL, Johnson officially earned his degree from Georgia Tech.[5][6]

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 6 78 in
(2.00 m)
266 lb
(121 kg)
4.69 s 1.54 s 2.66 s 4.37 s 7.42 s 38.5 in
(0.98 m)
10 ft 8 in
(3.25 m)
28 reps 27
All values from Central Florida Pro Day.[7]

Cincinnati BengalsEdit

Johnson was not selected in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft where many analysts predicted he would go, instead falling into the third round and being picked 70th overall by the Bengals.[8] During an interview, Johnson was mentioned by head coach Marvin Lewis as maybe being "one of the best pass rushers he has ever worked with."[9] Before the 2010 season, the Bengals announced that Johnson would be moved to outside linebacker.

In 2012, Johnson accumulated 52 tackles, 35 solo, and 11.5 sacks. He also had one interception and one force fumble.[10]

The Bengals placed their non-exclusive franchise tag on Johnson on March 1, 2013.[11][12]

Tampa Bay BuccaneersEdit

Johnson signed a five-year, $43.98 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on March 11, 2014.[13] Johnson's debut season for the Buccaneers was marred with injuries consistently the entire year. In the 2014 season, he recorded 27 combined tackles, 4.0 quarterback sacks, and two forced fumbles.[14]

On March 11, 2015, exactly one year to the day he signed with the Buccaneers, Johnson was released.[15] The move saved $2 million in cap space despite the loss of $7 million in guaranteed money that the team still had to pay.

Cincinnati Bengals (second stint)Edit

On March 15, 2015, Johnson re-joined his former team, signing a four-year, $24 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.[16]

In Week 5 of the 2018 season, Johnson recorded a 22-yard pick-six in the 27–17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.[17]


  1. ^ Benn, Alvin. "NFL player Michael Johnson 'paying it forward'". The Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  2. ^ Daugherty, Paul. "Doc: Michael Johnson's hometown pride is truly admirable". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "Texas Tech's Harrell Headlines 2008 AFCA Coaches' All-America Team". Archived from the original on December 7, 2008.
  4. ^ "Michael Johnson College Stats". College Football at Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  5. ^ "Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business on Twitter". Twitter.
  6. ^ "Ramblin' On: Michael Johnson". Georgia Tech. May 3, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  7. ^ "Michael Johnson - Georgia Tech, DE : 2009 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  8. ^ "2009 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  9. ^ "Michael Johnson in the Locker Room (6/18/09)". June 18, 2009. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.
  10. ^ "2012 Cincinnati Bengals Statistics & Players". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  11. ^ Wesseling, Chris (March 1, 2013). "Michael Johnson gets Cincinnati Bengals' franchise tag". Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  12. ^ Garafolo, Mike (March 1, 2013). "Bengals use franchise tag on DE Michael Johnson". Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  13. ^ Yasinskas, Pat; Harvey, Coley (March 11, 2014). "Michael Johnson agrees with Bucs". Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  14. ^ "Michael Johnson 2014 Game Log". Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  15. ^ "The Buccaneers have released DE Michael Johnson". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  16. ^ Hanzus, Dan. "Michael Johnson returns to Bengals on four-year deal". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  17. ^ "Michael Johnson achieved redemption with his pick-six against the Dolphins". News Chamber. Retrieved November 2, 2018.

External linksEdit