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Report: Buccaneers host Lions DE George Johnson

Drew Stanton, George Johnson


One of the more well-regarded restricted free agents has taken a visit.

According to Jenna Laine of Sports Talk Florida, the Buccaneers hosted Lions defensive end George Johnson on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Johnson recorded a career-high six sacks in 2014 for Detroit, which could match any offer to the fourth-year defensive end from Rutgers. However, the Lions simply have the right of first refusal and would not be due any draft-pick compensation if Johnson were signed away.

The Buccaneers and Johnson have some history. The 6-foot-4, 263-pound defensive end began his career with the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in 2010, spending multiple stints with the club before joining Minnesota in 2012. The Lions signed him last April, and he became a key contributor in their defensive-line rotation.

However, he could have an even bigger role with the Buccaneers, who are in need of defensive ends after releasing Michael Johnson and seeing Adrian Clayborn depart in free agency.