This year, the Bengals apparently did the same thing with two of their defensive ends.
On the same day the deadline passed for signing franchise-tagged defensive end Michael Johnson to a long-term deal, the Bengals worked out a five-year, $40 million extension with defensive end Carlos Dunlap, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. Dunlap had one more year left on his rookie contract; this deal adds five years, keeping him under contract with the Bengals through the 2018 season.
Dunlap, due to earn a base salary of $630,000 in 2013, will instead earn $18.7 million between now and 2014 training camp, and $20 million total over the next two seasons.
Not bad for a guy with two career starts. Then again, he has 10 times as many career sacks, in three NFL seasons. Last year, Dunlap registered 9.5 sacks.
And he’ll definitely be starting after Johnson leaves via free agency in 2014, if not sooner.