Dec 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (93) Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent speculation: Michael Johnson – What would he look like in Green Bay?


(Note: All of these articles are simply speculation as we consider the players on this list and what might be the case if they became Packers; we’re not convinced that Ted Thompson would sign any of them – but it’s fun to think that way anyway)

Continuing this series focusing on free agency, we set our sights on an article by NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling on the top 25 free agents.

It got me to thinking, “Who on this list would fit in with the Green Bay Packers and what would it look like?”

The number eight player on the list is Michael Johnson.

Michael Johnson may be a casualty of the players around him. When you have players like Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap being paid around you there generally is not enough money there to pay another big salary. Given he was franchised and did not blow it up this year, it would be easy to expect him to be allowed to test the free agent waters.

Johnson has been a valuable and productive member of the Cincinnati Bengals the past five seasons. He has accumulated 26.5 sacks and 129 tackles in that time. While his 2012 season (11.5 sacks) earned him the franchise tag, his 2013 season has most likely earned him a trip to another team as he turned in only 3.5 sacks, though he matched his 2012 tackle total of 35.

While his numbers were extremely low for him, remember he lost the presence of Geno Atkins about halfway through the season when his teammate went down with injury. The Bengals entire defensive front was much tamer after Atkins went out.

May 10, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Datone Jones Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson in Green and Gold. While it may sound good on the surface, it’s not much of a good fit for me.

For one, he is a 4-3 player. He would probably have to play as a outside linebacker in the Packers’ scheme, and his size just does not match up. Johnson is also not big enough in weight to play down on the line. It just is not a fit.

While any possible playmaker next to Clay Matthews sounds like a good thing, I think they would be better served trying to develop a similar prospect in Datone Jones.

So, what are your thoughts? Should I give Johnson a little more benefit of a doubt?

Leave us a comment.

Tags: Green Bay Packers Michael Johnson