Monday, July 1, 2013
Multi-year deal for Johnson?
As with any of the other franchise-tagged players this offseason, Cincinnati Bengals DE Michael Johnson must reach an agreement on a multi-year deal to replace the one-year franchise tender before the July 15 deadline, or play out the 2013 campaign on that tender (which he has already signed). We haven't heard much of anything regarding progress on such a deal for the Georgia Tech product, so what are the chances that something gets done by then?
Based upon the buzz on the situation -- rather, the lack thereof -- it's hard to forecast a new multi-year deal between the two sides. It's interesting to note that the Bengals have not reached a multi-year deal with any of their franchise-tagged players since RB Rudi Johnson in 2005, so reaching a deal with Johnson would go against their typical practices.
In addition, the Bengals have two other high-profile defensive linemen that are entering the final years of their current contracts as well, in DT Geno Atkins and DE Carlos Dunlap. It's theoretically possible that the team will have enough cap space flexibility to sign all three, but in practice, it doesn't seem as likely that they will. Of the group, Atkins seems most likely to receive the 2014 franchise tag.
ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley has a few other reasons why a deal isn't likely for Johnson:
Jamison HensleyDeadline for Bengals, Johnson approaching
"I don't see the Bengals and Johnson coming to an agreement anytime soon. The Bengals will have to give out some big money contracts over the next two years to keep defensive tackle Geno Atkins (free agent in 2014), wide receiver A.J. Green (2015) and quarterback Andy Dalton (2015). If the Bengals are going to extend a pass-rusher, it would probably be Carlos Dunlap, who is two years younger than Johnson and will sign for significantly less money. They also used a second-round pick this year on defensive end Margus Hunt, which adds more depth to an already deep defensive end group."