Michael Johnson will likely hit the open market on March 11 when free agency begins.
The fifth-year defensive end is not expected to be re-signed by the Cincinnati Bengals, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. Joe Reedy of The Enquirer sets Johnson’s chance to re-sign at just 20 percent.
Johnson earned $11.175 million in 2013 after being franchised by the Bengals. He had 3.5 sacks in 2013 after recording 11.5 sacks in 2012.
The Patriots had interest in Johnson before he was franchised by the Bengals. They’ll have a second chance to sign him if he predictably hits free agency.
Johnson was drafted in the third round out of Georgia Tech in 2009. The 6-foot-7, 270-pound defensive end has 26.5 career sacks.