Number 4: Michael Johnson – DE (2014)
From this point forward any one of these entries has an argument for the number one spot. Michael Johnson had become a mainstay of the Cincinnati Bengals defense (for whatever that’s worth) since his rookie season in 2009. Johnson, the former third-round pick out of Georgia Tech did only have one double-digit sack season but did manage to register 26.5 sacks, 25 pass breakups, and three forced fumbles during his five seasons while in the Queen City.
The Buccaneers decided to reward this production with a massive five-year $43.7 million dollar contract. Pass rushers are a premium position in the NFL, so the bank is often broken for their services, and the Buccaneers and Johnson were no different. Johnson would go on to only record a not so massive total of four sacks and two forced fumbles in his one season with Tampa Bay. That isn’t TERRIBLE production, but certainly not premium pass rush numbers either. Simeon Rice he was not. Johnson would be released after the season ended, earning $16 million for his troubles.
Of course the cherry on top of this sundae that nobody got to eat, however, is that Johnson ended up resigning back with the Bengals, the team that originally received a third-round compensatory draft pick for “losing” him to the Buccaneers in the first place. #ThisLeague man.