Dec 30, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (96) holds the ball after scoring during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals defeated the Ravens 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
It may turn out that the Cincinnati Bengals end up signing a defensive end to a long-term extension after all, it just won’t be the one you’d thought it would be:
The Bengals entered today needing to work out a long-term deal with DE Michael Johnson prior to 4pm, or he’d be playing under the franchise tag for the 2013 NFL season. The two sides failed to reach a deal, but that may have had to do with the team having a long-term deal for Dunlap wrapped up.
There are a number of reasons the Bengals opted for Dunlap over Johnson. Age was and potential to still grow were two big ones.
Dunlap has been in the league for three years, compared to Johnson’s four years.
In that time, Dunlap has accumulated 20 sacks, averaging almost 7 a year. Johnson has brought down the quarterback 23 times, but in more year’s time, averaging almost 6 sacks a year – however, those numbers are after a career year in 2012.
Johnson has totaled 94 tackles in four years, averaging 23.5 per year. Dunlap has had 65 tackles, averaging about 22 per year.
Dunlap has had three more forced fumbles than Johnson as well.
Dunlap is also two years younger than Johnson, and will be expected to carry a much bigger load in 2013, and has the potential to be a Pro Bowl DE when healthy.