The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are tacitly acknowledging the missteps of general manager Jason Licht's first attempt at free agency last offseason.
All three veterans were billed as major building blocks to usher in the Lovie Smith era last season.
The Bucs shopped Collins around the league last week, NFL Media Insider Rapoport reported, but predictably found no takers after a disastrous first season in Tampa.
The contracts signed by McCown, Collins and Johnson were reported last March to total $83.75 million -- with $43.75 million in "guarantees."
Johnson has collected $16 million of the alleged $23 million in "guarantees." Cutting him before March 12 saves the Buccaneers the final $7 million "guaranteed" payment.
Having learned from his rookie mistakes, Licht is mostly sitting out free agency's initial feeding frenzy this week. With the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Bucs will concentrate on building with young talent.