Aug 30, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Collins (73) runs off the field during a time out in the game against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Update on Michael Johnson, Anthony Collins and the Offensive Line

The Cincinnati Bengals will likely lose one key contributor from last year’s team in defensive end Michael Johnson. The team would like to avoid losing two key players, but that could happen if offensive tackle Anthony Collins leaves via free agency as well.

Both players are likely to be at or near the top of their respective positions once they hit the open market, and according to Paul Dehner of Cincinnati.com, neither player has favorable odds to resign with the Bengals:

Broke on the scene this year not allowing a sack and only one pressure upon earning left tackle job. Should be somebody willing to shell out cash for an emerging, young starting left tackle. He likely ends up with between $5 and $8 million per year.

Odds he returns: 45%

Explanation: Assuming the Bengals decide to move Andrew Whitworth to guard as a part of Hue Jackson’s dedication to the run something would need to be done about left tackle. More than likely Cincinnati will shoot out an initial offer and allow Collins to test the market. If somebody is going to back the truck up to him, they will say congratulations and move in another direction.

The fact that the Bengals appear ready to move Whitworth to guard is encouraging in that it means the Bengals are ready to make a strong push to resign Collins.

If he leaves and Whit moves to guard, that would leave a gaping hole on Andy Dalton’s blindside, and they would need to look to sign another tackle or draft one high in May’s NFL draft.

Once Whitworth moved to guard late last year while Collins took over his tackle spot in Week 13, the offense averaged 34.5 points over their final four games of the regular season.

The run game got a significant boost as well with 113.6 yards per contest over the final five regular season games. The Bengals need to resign Collins ASAP, because if they let hi hit the open market, he might get an offer the team simply cannot match.

 

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Tags: Anthony Collins Cincinnati Bengals Michael Johnson NFL NFL Free Agency

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