The deadline for teams to sign franchised players to a long-term deal came and went, and according to the NFL Network’s Albert Breer, the Cincinnati Bengals were talking to defensive end Michael Johnson‘s representatives about a possible last-minute deal.
Unfortunately, the deal never came, and Johnson will now play the 2013 season under a one-year tender worth $11.175 million. That’s not a bad payday for the former third-round pick out of Georgia Tech, and while MJ was no doubt wanting the long-term security that comes with a multi-year deal full of guaranteed money, it’s still a nice reword for a guy who looked like he may be on the roster bubble just a few seasons ago after his first two seasons in the league were pretty underwhelming (5.5 sacks, 52 tackles).
Now, he’ll be paid like one of the best DE in the NFL, at least for one season.
If he can replicate this past season’s success (11.5 sacks, 52 tackles), he’ll likely be making that kind of money for 3-4 more seasons.
Johnson, along with Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, Robert Geathers, Wallace Gilberry and Domata Peko combined for 42 of the Bengals’ franchise-record 51 sacks last year (second-most in the NFL), and with all of them returning, there’s no reason to think there will be any drop-off as the defense looks to carry the team back into the postseason.
So while there’s a lot of uncertainty regarding where MJ will be playing beyond the 2013 NFL season, fans should enjoy getting to see him in stripes for at least one more year.