Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Top 10 free agency signings in team history

Tom Brady, Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tom Brady, Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Brad Johnson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

Number 7: Brad Johnson – QB (2001-2004)

The Buccaneers don’t exactly have the greatest history at the quarterback position. They’ve drafted two quarterbacks with the number one pick in the draft, Vinny Testaverde in 1987, and Jameis Winston in 2015. The results were… mixed. Doug Williams was the best quarterback they drafted, and that was in the late 1970s. In their two Super Bowl championship seasons, the Buccaneers started quarterbacks signed in free agency (spoiler alert on things to come). Brad Johnson was signed in 2001 to replace quarterback Shaun King in an attempt to finally take the Buccaneers over the hump.

Johnson was never going to light up the stat sheet, but he was the perfect quarterback to compliment a legendary defense. He didn’t take any unnecessary risks and didn’t make many mistakes. Signing at the ripe old age of 32, Johnson proved to be exactly what the Buccaneers needed.

Johnson is consistently listed, along with former Buccaneers quarterback Trent Dilfer, as among the worst quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl. The thing that’s easy to forget is that in the Buccaneers 2002 Super Bowl season, Johnson was a Pro Bowler, throwing 22 touchdowns and only six interceptions, and even went on to win the Quarterback Challenge that year (sidenote: the league HAS to bring those back). The wheels would eventually fall off for Johnson in Tampa, but he did have three straight 3,000 yard seasons and was the starting quarterback for the Buccaneers’ first-ever Super Bowl win. For that reason alone, he needs to be on this list.