On Monday, we shared a report that it is unlikely that the Bengals would reach agreement on a contract extension with defensive end Michael Johnson before the July 15 deadline for teams to sign players with franchise tags to multi-year contracts.
Johnson was a guest on Sirius XM NFL Radio Tuesday and nothing he said to Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon contradicted that report. Johnson didn’t have much to say about any current talks about a deal and said that he planned to play out this year before worrying about his contract “when the dust settles.”
The lack of a deal hasn’t soured Johnson on the Bengals, however. He said he still feels the team wants him to stay around and that he’d like to remain in Cincinnati, although he knows that the business side of things can trump such desires.
“There is no ill will on either side, it’s a business,” Johnson said. “I’ve known from day one they have to make these moves much like players have to do the same thing. Whatever happens, happens. I feel confident I can play in this league for a long time. Whether that’s Cincinnati or wherever, it is what it is.”
If Johnson, who is set to make $11.175 million after signing his franchise tag, doesn’t sign a new deal with the team, he’ll join defensive tackle Geno Atkins and defensive end Carlos Dunlap as impending free agents. With extensions looming for quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green looming in the not too distant future, it’s unlikely the Bengals will be able to keep all three.