We’re a week away from the deadline to sign franchise players to long-term deals before the end of the 2013 season and things aren’t looking good on that front for one of the players tagged earlier this offseason.
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that “all is silent” regarding contract talks between the Bengals and defensive end Michael Johnson and that “indications” are that he’ll play out the season under the tag. If that’s the case, Johnson will make $11.175 million and head to free agency again after the season.
Johnson might not have much better luck getting a contract from the Bengals at that point. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins has an expiring contract and will likely be the top priority, be it for a contract or the franchise tag, while defensive end Carlos Dunlap is also entering the final year of his deal. Something will likely have to give and it could be Johnson if he winds up commanding top dollar off another big year rushing the passer.
None of the eight players given franchise tags this offseason have agreed to long-term deals with their teams. We’ll find out in the next few days if the deadline spurs anyone to action.