Defensive Tackle Geno Atkins
2018 CAP Hit: $9,550,000
We talked about how the Bengals need to re-sign Geno Atkins to a long-term deal this offseason to avoid him walking next year. The 2010 fourth-round selection has implemented himself as one of the top, if not the top, defensive tackle. Over the last three seasons, Atkins has had nine or more sacks and ranked as the second highest graded defensive tackle by Pro Football Focus last season.
Atkins ranks 13th among defensive tackles pay this season and there are plenty of names making more money than Atkins with highly less production. Most defensive tackles are either pass rushers or run stuffers but the versatility of Atkins makes him a dominant force in both aspects of the game.
There are extremely talented defensive tackles like Gerald McCoy and Fletcher Cox making more than Atkins but there are also the likes of Michael Brockers and Timmy Jernigan. The top tackles are averaging anywhere from 14-17 million this year and Atkins belongs in that category. While his age is not slowing down, neither is his production. Cincinnati cannot afford to let him walk like they did with offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler.