Bengals News

Thursday mailbag: post NFL meetings

tsteffen
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 22: Michael Johnson
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 22: Michael Johnson /
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Does defensive end Michael Johnson make the final cut?

Even though many fans want to see defensive end Michael Johnson cut I don’t see it happening this year. Not unless they absolutely just needed some extra cap to sign another player. Johnson may not be an elite lineman or anywhere close but he has been consistent every year for the Bengals.

Tying his career high with 35 tackles this last season while also hauling in 5 sacks he is one of the most consistent players. It’s possible that the Bengals could look to add some line depth in the draft but how much would the rookie see the field? Considering Lewis doesn’t give his rookies considerable playing time, I don’t see a rookie pushing him out the door.

Then you have Carl Lawson who came in on later downs or obvious passing downs. The Bengals do look to expand Lawson’s playing time but not necessarily at defensive end. They want to move him around as a linebacker role where he can attack the passer from different spots on the field. He still lacks the ability to be a run stopper.

Given those two things, I don’t see Johnson leaving this season. If they were to cut the veteran it would be during the preseason most likely when they have seen someone beat him out at the position. Until camp, he’s most likely a lock for 2018.

-Answered by Travis Steffen

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