Bucs Agree to Terms With QB Rob Johnson

March 9 – As Buccaneer Magazine first reported, free agent quarterback Rob Johnson visited One Buccaneer Place on Friday, and on Saturday, he agreed to terms with Tampa Bay. The length of Johnson's contract and financial terms were not disclosed. Three of Tampa Bay's four quarterbacks have starting experience in the National Football League.

Got Johnson? Tampa Bay has three of them--Brad, Keyshawn, and now Rob. As Buccaneer Magazine first reported on Thursday evening, the Buccaneers brought free agent and ex-Bills QB Rob Johnson into One Buccaneer Place for a visit on Friday, and on Saturday, Johnson agreed to terms with Tampa Bay.

"I can't wait to get to work with Coach Gruden and his staff," said Johnson. "He is a special coach and this team has special players. I look forward to competing and contributing here."

Johnson, a seven-year veteran, spent the last four seasons with the Buffalo Bills (1996-2001) after spending the first three years of his pro career with the Jacksonville Jaguars (1995-97).

The Houston Texans were reportedly in hot pursuit of Johnson after he was released by Buffalo last month due to his high salary, but the 28-year-old fourth round draft pick out of the University of Southern California was unhappy with the contract Houston offered him.

When Jon Gruden was introduced as Tampa Bay's head coach on Feb. 20, he indicated he would bring in some other arms to compete with quarterbacks Brad Johnson, Shaun King and Joe Hamilton. On Saturday, Gruden held true to his word by brining Johnson aboard the Pewter Pirates' ship.

"We are pleased to add Rob to our football team," said Gruden. "He's young, talented and has experience as a starting quarterback in the National Football League."

Johnson (6-4, 212) has thrown for 5,166 career yards with 29 touchdowns and 20 interceptions while completing 61 percent of his passes in the 37 games he has played, including 28 starts with Buffalo and Jacksonville.

Johnson is a mobile quarterback, which is attractive to Gruden's West Coast offensive scheme. He has rushed for 783 yards (6.4 avg.) in his career, but he has also been injury prone.

Johnson landed in Buffalo after Jacksonville traded him in exchange for the Bill's first and fourth round draft selections in the 1998 NFL Draft.

Johnson and Bucs WR Keyshawn Johnson played together with the Trojans in 1994. R. Johnson will likely sport jersey No. 11.


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