Perhaps the re-signing of defensive end Everson Griffen was a tell-tale sign, but the Minnesota Vikings won't be signing Cincinnati Bengals star defensive end Michael Johnson via free agency, according to ESPN's Ben Goessling.
Johnson, 27, met with the Vikings during the NFL's three-day negotiating period that allowed teams to meet with free agents before the market officially open at 3 p.m. today. Per the report, "things just didn't pan out between the two sides."
Johnson is a 6-foot-7, athletic defensive end that can stop the run and apply pressure to the quarterback. He was outstanding in 2012 with a career-high 11 1/2 sacks. He finished last season with only 3 1/2 sacks. The large decrease is can partially be attributed to an increase in the number of double-teams he faced.
Pro Football Focus ranked Johnson as the No. 2 available "edge rusher" on the market, just behind Carolina outside linebacker Greg Hardy. Jared Allen, who may reportedly end up with the Denver Broncos, is ranked No. 34 on the same list.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Johnson could wind up playing for the Buccaneers under new defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who was hired by head coach Lovie Smith shortly after being fired by the Vikings.