ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier tonight on Monday Night Countdown that the Cincinnati Bengals and defensive tackle Geno Atkins have been talking about extending a rookie deal that expires after the coming season.
Not long after that report came out, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk quickly disputed it:
No, a deal isn’t on the brink of happening.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, nothing is imminent between the Bengals and Atkins. The talks, which we’re told have been occurring for months, have no clear timeline.
Given the way the Bengals like to handle contract negotiations, expect one of two scenarios to occur:
1. The Bengals let the season play out, try to negotiate a deal during the offseason, and place the franchise tag on him next offseason if no deal is reached.
2. Continue to work on an extension through this season, and potentially reach a deal sometime during the season.
If you recall, the Bengals extended Carson Palmer’s contract through 2014 and added six years to a deal that would pay him $118.75 million in salary.
So it wouldn’t be unprecedented for the Bengals to sign a franchise-caliber player to an extension during the regular season.
As of now, Atkins has one year and $1.42 million remaining on the rookie contract he signed with the Bengals in 2010 as a fourth-round pick out of the University of Georgia.
Under no circumstance should the Bengals allow the best defensive tackle in football to leave.