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DE Michael Johnson interested in Atlanta?

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When making his rounds at the Senior Bowl last month, ESPN Falcons blogger Vaughn McClure was informed free agent RE Michael Johnson wouldn't mind "coming home" and playing for the Falcons.
Johnson is from Alabama but played his college ball at Georgia Tech and was down there as recently as last spring taking classes. The Falcons' biggest need areas lie in the trenches on the defensive and offensive lines. They were 29th in the league in sacks (32) last season. Johnson is unlikely to return to Cincinnati due to his price tag. The Falcons also don't have a ton of cash to play with, but teams can make things work. Johnson is our No. 2 free-agent DE. Feb 5 - 1:58 PM
Source: ESPN.com

 

 

 

I have always liked Michael Johnson a lot. He's a great all-around athlete, who's still pretty raw for a DE. I know he had a down season this past year, but the year before he played great.

 

He may play with Geno and other great defenders, but I believe Nolan could turn him into a great pass rusher. For his young age and potential, I would be extremely thrilled if we took a shot on him.

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Johnson has shown he can get to the quarterback, that's just what we need on defense. However, if we end up going after a pass rusher at #6 in the draft, I'm not so sure I would like this move. Obviously signing Johnson would change our draft strategy, but as I've said before, is there really much top in offensive line talent in this years draft? Jake Matthews is great, but it's not like last year. Last year the o-line was out there in the draft, not this year.

 

I would love to see Johnson as a Falcon, but I would rather spend that money in free agency on an offensive lineman like Jon Asamoah or Eugene Monroe.

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ESPN's Adam Caplan suggested on NFL Insiders Thursday that free agent DE Michael Johnson will command "maybe $10 million a year" on the open market.

Bengals coaches want Johnson back, per Caplan, but Cincinnati won't franchise tag him for the second straight year and seems unlikely to commit long term to Johnson after locking up Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, and using a 2013 second-round pick on Margus Hunt. Johnson is athletic enough to drop into coverage and rush with his hand up, so he figures to be pursued by both 4-3 and 3-4 teams. That "scheme versatility" will boost his market worth.

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The Cincinnati Enquirer believes there's an 80 percent chance free agent RE Michael Johnson leaves the Bengals.

The Enquirer gives the Bengals a 45 percent chance to retain free agent OT Anthony Collins. Cincinnati recently handed DT Geno Atkins and LE Carlos Dunlap huge contract extensions, making then far less likely to pony up for Johnson. Rotoworld currently ranks 27-year-old Johnson as the No. 1 free agent defensive end with an expiring contract, behind only Greg Hardy. We have Lamarr Houston third, Michael Bennett fourth, and Jared Allen fifth.

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Johnson has shown he can get to the quarterback, that's just what we need on defense. However, if we end up going after a pass rusher at #6 in the draft, I'm not so sure I would like this move. Obviously signing Johnson would change our draft strategy, but as I've said before, is there really much top in offensive line talent in this years draft? Jake Matthews is great, but it's not like last year. Last year the o-line was out there in the draft, not this year.

 

I would love to see Johnson as a Falcon, but I would rather spend that money in free agency on an offensive lineman like Jon Asamoah or Eugene Monroe.

Both those names are not worth money, IMO

 

Could get a stud LT with Robinson or Matthews with our pick at 6...and then pickup Johnson. Cheaper route as well.

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Monroe's worth it. We just didn't because we're dumb.

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