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Atkins was wise to get his deal done


At a time when it has become fashionable for NFL players to “bet on themselves” as they approach free agency, the case of Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins shows that it’s wise to know when to run to the bank.

Atkins, who was entering the final year of his rookie contract and drawing praise throughout the NFL as the top defensive tackle in the game, could have pulled a Flacco, rejecting the best offer from the Bengals and forcing his way to free agency — or at a minimum toward an extra year at roughly $8.5 million under the franchise tag.

Atkins opted instead for security, which in the NFL primarily means shifting the ever-present risk of serious injury from the player to the team.  And the $22 million he’ll receive over the next six months, part of $31 million over the first three years, wouldn’t have been there for him after Thursday night, if as it appears he has a torn ACL in his knee.

Suffering an injury like that less than six months from free agency would have resulted in no big-money offer from the Bengals, no franchise tag, and no free-agency free-for-all.  He would have gotten at most a multi-year deal that would have included a balloon payment after one year if healthy and effective.

As other players approaching free agency have the opportunity to sign very good deals but are inclined to swing for the fences of a great deal, they need to realize that they could end up with neither, if they tear an ACL in the final two months of the 2013 season.

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16 Responses to “Atkins was wise to get his deal done”
  1. nfl4days says: Nov 1, 2013 9:32 AM

    You could see the whole Bengals defense lose a step. When Atkins went out, the Bengals had to blitz and were surprisingly ineffective doing it. Huge blow.

  2. redskinsroost says: Nov 1, 2013 9:34 AM

    You can be sure the Brown family will be looking for a way not to pay. Bet on it.

  3. primenumber19 says: Nov 1, 2013 9:35 AM

    Are you listening Jimmy Graham?

  4. truthfactory says: Nov 1, 2013 9:36 AM

    This headline could also read: “Bengals pay out $22 million over the next six months and get nothing in return.”

    I dont get why you celebrate someone getting paid crazy dollars while not providing a service to their team?

  5. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Nov 1, 2013 9:51 AM

    Like Atkins, Gronk timed his extension nicely too – right in advance of an ever-growing list of injuries and missed playing time that would have neutered his negotiating leverage.

  6. onbucky96 says: Nov 1, 2013 10:21 AM

    Hell yes he did right. He’ll miss a chunk of next yr too. Hope his rehab goes well.

  7. seabassfan says: Nov 1, 2013 10:40 AM

    Hopefully it’s not an ACL tear for two reasons:
    1) I hate to see Geno injured, he’s a great player and seems like a pretty good guy.
    2) The old Mike Brown will be back, the one that never paid a top player after the Kijana Carter debacle.
    If #2 happens we may be in for another 20 year stretch without any playoff appearances.

  8. pabrownsfan says: Nov 1, 2013 10:51 AM

    Good for him. Smart move.

  9. bandoy767 says: Nov 1, 2013 10:53 AM

    Well imo theres a big difference in comparing him to Flacco. Flacco was not considered a top QB therefore was not offered top QB money before he bet on himself. Geno was already considered the top of his game and had a lot more leverage before the season started for this deal to get done.

  10. mygoldtooth says: Nov 1, 2013 11:01 AM

    Guess all the talk of Andy Dalton turning into the new Rogers-Brees-Brady-Manning was a bit premature. Same old, same old. 3 INTs, one fumble, one game-ending safety. 0 playoff wins.

  11. justintuckrule says: Nov 1, 2013 11:45 AM

    Hakeem: tell your agent to call jerry

  12. junglerat524 says: Nov 1, 2013 11:53 AM

    Didn’t Dalton beat Brady & Rodgers already this year?

  13. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 1, 2013 11:55 AM

    Well he did things exactly the right way. He waited until nearly the last moment before the start of the season and inked a very favorable deal that overpaid him just like I suggested for him to do. It was exactly what I predicted and his agent didn’t drop the ball.

  14. cdwains says: Nov 1, 2013 1:17 PM

    The same thing happened 2 years ago when Leon Hall signed a big extension. He tore his Achilies, and what do you know he just tore the other one this year.

  15. ampatsisahypocrite says: Nov 1, 2013 2:35 PM

    I love how the article mentions “pulling a Flacco” which now goes down as totally making fools of your team for so grossly overpaying you.

  16. bonniebengal says: Nov 2, 2013 5:23 AM

    The speculation right now is that Geno will be back by training camp. Knowing his work ethic, which is off the charts, I have no doubt that will be the case.

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