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Michael Johnson seen as unlikely to remain in Cincinnati


The Bengals appear poised to say goodbye to defensive end Michael Johnson.

Johnson played the 2013 season on the one-year franchise tender of $11.175 million, but he’s unlikely to return in 2014, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

If the Bengals want to keep Johnson for another year on the franchise tag, they’d have to guarantee him a salary of $13.4 million for 2014. That would be an awful lot of salary cap space to devote to the defensive line after the Bengals have already given defensive tackle Geno Atkins a five-year $55 million contract and defensive end Carlos Dunlap a six-year, $40 million contract.

The 27-year-old Johnson is a good defensive end with plenty of good years left in him, but his sack total declined from 11.5 in 2012 to 3.5 in 2013, and it sounds like the Bengals will decide that they don’t want to spend the kind of money it would take to keep him around for 2014.

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65 Responses to “Michael Johnson seen as unlikely to remain in Cincinnati”
  1. fishfiletkray says: Feb 10, 2014 3:53 PM

    Tampa could use him.

  2. iceicebaby32 says: Feb 10, 2014 3:55 PM

    So can Dallas

  3. thepftpoet says: Feb 10, 2014 3:55 PM

    The Vikings will be a perfect fit for MJ with experience in Zimmer’s defense & Jared Allen leaving this offseason.

    Can you feel it Vikings fans? All the pieces are falling into place.

    And the puzzle is winning a Super Bowl.

  4. pooflingingmonkey says: Feb 10, 2014 3:56 PM

    Maybe they can trade him to Oakland for a 1st and a 2nd round draft pick?

    They fell for it once. Lol.

  5. imbetteratlifethanyou says: Feb 10, 2014 3:56 PM

    The vikings have exactly ZERO Super Bowl trophies.

  6. narlo00 says: Feb 10, 2014 3:56 PM

    Zimmer just went to Minny. Looks like they’re not bringing Jared Allen back. Yup, I’d say he ends up in purple and gold.

  7. thepftpoet says: Feb 10, 2014 3:57 PM

    As an expert draft analysis, here’s how the NFL draft will turn out:

    The Minnesota Vikings first 7 picks – all future all-pro players who will dominate for the next decade.

    The other 31 NFL teams: all busts who won’t contribute at all.


  8. 92nick182govikings says: Feb 10, 2014 3:57 PM

    Thats cause he is gonna come to Minnesota! If we are gonna lose Jared Allen AND Everson Griffin, we need this dude. Isn’t he like 6’7 and super fast. He will be the next dominant pass rusher in Minnesota.

  9. wsperegoiv says: Feb 10, 2014 4:00 PM

    Vikings bound. #4 rated 4-3 DE on PFF this year.

  10. ariani1985 says: Feb 10, 2014 4:01 PM

    Come to green bay, we play clown music at our practices!

  11. whysomanylosers says: Feb 10, 2014 4:06 PM

    Come to the Bucs…

  12. deltaoracle says: Feb 10, 2014 4:12 PM

    So the Vikings can’t afford an expensive and declining Allen, but they can afford an expensive and declining Johnson.
    That makes sense to the fanbase which is sure that once again the Vikes are en route to World Championship. There’s something funny in the water over there.

  13. shatho1 says: Feb 10, 2014 4:14 PM

    see you in Dallas

  14. gritzblitz66 says: Feb 10, 2014 4:14 PM

    Atlanta needs him or Lamar Houston. Then draft Barr and that will actually make our defense decent.

  15. russellwilsonismymvp says: Feb 10, 2014 4:16 PM

    3.5 sacks? Go ahead and overpay him Minnesota. Vikings are destined to finish last in the NFCN yet again as the other teams in that division are clearly better.

    GB 12-4
    CHI 10-6
    DET 10-6
    MIN 1-15

  16. realitycheckbaby says: Feb 10, 2014 4:16 PM

    Rumor has it he already called Seattle to take a huge pay cut in exchange for winning and reviving his career like so many before him.

  17. hawksforever says: Feb 10, 2014 4:18 PM

    All Carrol and Schneider would have to do is look in Johnson’s general direction and he would be on the first flight to the World Champs headquarters looking for a pen to sign a long term deal with a discount!

    GO HAWKS!!

  18. jda129 says: Feb 10, 2014 4:19 PM

    The Vikings organization is an embarrassment of riches minus the riches part.

  19. ariani1985 says: Feb 10, 2014 4:25 PM

    If he did play in Minnesota the seaturds would be happy to have you. We love old rejects from Minnesota!

  20. pats1977 says: Feb 10, 2014 4:26 PM

    Only if my Pats weren’t so cheap. They could use this guy. Though, the Pats had 44 sacks last season, most of them were against bad teams. The pass rush was nonexistent against the good teams in big games. Drop ninkovich and arrington and use the $9 million to sign this guy. Don’t know how you reward a player a $5 million/year contract to be your starting DE when there are better DE players in the league making less than him (M. Bennett). To make matter even worst, arrington received $4 million/year contract when he’s been constantly getting benched for poor playing. BB the GM, please fire yourself and stick to coaching.

  21. honkeyt says: Feb 10, 2014 4:28 PM

    Raiders have the paper to pay him and we need a pass rusher. Wanted this dude last year. Hopefully he ends up in the Silver and Black.

  22. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Feb 10, 2014 4:29 PM

    Everyone wants to jump off that sinking ship.

  23. romo2dez88 says: Feb 10, 2014 4:38 PM

    Dallas???? I don’t know if you guys are aware or not, but we are like 20 plus million over the cap. Add that to the face that we have to pay both Dez and Tyron before next year, we are totally screwed.

  24. thealmightybigblue says: Feb 10, 2014 4:44 PM

    The sheagles and Deadskins on lines 1 and 2.

  25. freeigwebuike says: Feb 10, 2014 4:45 PM

    I’d rather have Allen, but I’m fine with Johnson – although not at $12M a year. That’s ridiculous.

  26. fwippel says: Feb 10, 2014 4:51 PM

    Maybe he replaced Jared Allen in Minnesota?

  27. The Great Ted Thompson the Genius says: Feb 10, 2014 4:59 PM

    I’d rather keep Everson Griffen at a cheaper price.

  28. jamiebuf12 says: Feb 10, 2014 5:01 PM

    put him opposite mario williams and with kyle williams and marcel darius…it would be the nastiest d-line in football!!! go bills 🙂

  29. peepeetoucher says: Feb 10, 2014 5:03 PM

    Come to (whatever team I root for), we need a pass rusher. He’d fit perfect with player X across from him and we’d be unstoppable.

  30. trollaikman8 says: Feb 10, 2014 5:13 PM

    Welcome to Anthony Spencer’s empty locker.

  31. oruacat2 says: Feb 10, 2014 5:14 PM

    Johnson is NOT “on the decline”. His number of sacks dropped because he’s on a defense where the pass rush and QB pressures come from everywhere.

    I hate to lose the guy and whoever does sign him is gonna be really happy.

    Good luck, Michael, wherever you land (and I hope it’s not in the AFC North)

  32. mutantman87 says: Feb 10, 2014 5:19 PM

    If the Seahawks can’t get Michael Bennett back, perhaps Johnson will sign on with a short term, “prove it” deal for a season or two like Bennett and Avril did last year. They could always use a DE who’s solid against the run and I bet Johnson can rotate inside on nickel downs and perhaps use those long arms to bat down some passes.

  33. GenoAtkinswillnotbestopped says: Feb 10, 2014 5:22 PM

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him take a little less money and stay in Cincy. Wouldn’t surprise me if he left either though. He’s a humble, well spoken guy, and a team player – i wish him luck wherever he ends up.

  34. hawksforever says: Feb 10, 2014 5:26 PM

    Maybe the Vikings can entice Johnson with their famous annual cruise full of sidewalk social scientists!


  35. banlarson says: Feb 10, 2014 5:34 PM

    27 is about when most DE’s start to hit their stride. If MN can get him on the cheap, he already knows Zimmer’s defense. Vikings will resign Griffin, so really just need a road grader in the middle. If Spielman does trade down look for someone like Louis Nix III at 6’3″ 340 lbs. I’d take a front 4 of Griffin, Floyd, Nix, and Johnson anyday.

  36. patsfan1820 says: Feb 10, 2014 5:35 PM

    Redskins have the space to do it and they need someone like him.

  37. macdaddyspeed says: Feb 10, 2014 5:44 PM

    Once the Seahawks have completed their review of Johnson, they will contact the vikings to let them know if they can sign him or not. Parent clubs have priority.

  38. seatownballers says: Feb 10, 2014 6:00 PM

    Oakland is gonna get Bennett and Johnson. They are drafting Bortles or Manziel. Pryor will become a receiver. That team will contend in that division soon enough

  39. djsammmyskillz says: Feb 10, 2014 6:11 PM

    The money isn’t the guarantee, he wants to be guaranteed that they’ll draft a QB or go get Vick! When that money is long and gone, all he wants is a ring or two.

  40. bonniebengal says: Feb 10, 2014 7:15 PM

    Sacks is just one stat. Michael Johnson is a top DE and he’s not declining. He’s only 27.

  41. bonniebengal says: Feb 10, 2014 7:18 PM

    I believe MJ will either join Mike Zimmer in Minnesota or stay with the Bengals.

  42. ajgreenhof says: Feb 10, 2014 7:20 PM

    He will end up in Minnesota with Coach Zim.

  43. jacobk621 says: Feb 10, 2014 7:35 PM

    Yes I agree he would look good in purple ,, not Minnesota purple but Baltimore purple !!! I wish my Pats wasn’t so cheap !!

  44. bengalsfan20 says: Feb 10, 2014 7:44 PM

    This is pretty much a forgone conclusion in Cincinnati and all the fans know it as well. No doubt MJ is a very good player and he has ridiculous athletic ability. They already have money committed to Geno and Dunlap so no way they can afford to sign another defensive lineman. Good thing is Margus Hunt should be able to step right in and fill the void Johnson will be leaving. Have to put that money elsewhere into signing guys like AJ Green and Gio long term when their deals are up.

  45. virgiltab says: Feb 10, 2014 7:44 PM

    To the Dallas Fans…..

    Nothing can help your team. lol

    Except Jerry Jones firing himself.

  46. blacktopper87 says: Feb 10, 2014 7:52 PM

    Welcome to the DYNASTY that is THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS!!!!

  47. realskipbayless says: Feb 10, 2014 7:58 PM

    I hope cincy somehow holds onto him. I was afraid he would be odd man out.

  48. MostlyRight says: Feb 10, 2014 8:00 PM

    Arizona has no room for him on the roster.

    I’ve been waiting decades to say that about a talented free agent.

  49. bensstinkyfingers says: Feb 10, 2014 8:34 PM

    The Ben Gals will not make it past 1rst round of playoffs regardless if Johnson is there or not. As long as the daywalker Dalton is Qb they will not win a championship.

  50. cobaltdriver says: Feb 10, 2014 8:35 PM

    He ll be a Seahawks..according to Sidney Rice everyone wants to be a Seahawks…of course Sid came from Minnesota so it was probably like going from Antartica to Hawaii..

  51. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Feb 10, 2014 8:47 PM

    The Bengals won’t keep him because some other team that needs a lot of help on defense will offer him a boatload of cash, more than they know he is worth. He will play well for that team, but not well enough to justify what he is being paid.

  52. juststeel says: Feb 10, 2014 8:52 PM

    The Bungles need to finally get rid of Marvin Lewis. Should have happened 4 years ago.

  53. raiderapologist says: Feb 10, 2014 10:07 PM

    It’s the Season of Speculation. Reggie McKenzie will be the King of the Combine, because he has 60M in his pocket. He won’t be picking up a tab, and will be at the top of every agent’s ToDo list.

  54. wjmoffatt says: Feb 10, 2014 10:17 PM

    Anyone that wants him is pretty dumb. He is a heck of a football player but he isn’t worth that salary being a pass rusher. I would rather have a prove it player like Seahawks got with Bennett on a 5million deal.
    Hopefully that will be the Bucs getting Allen on a 5.5 million deal.

  55. khmer379 says: Feb 10, 2014 11:03 PM

    And the seahawks are exactly obsessed with the vikings organization and players last time I check the vikings did win a Superbowl and there name are Percy Harvin heath farewell Sidney rice and yea that offensive coordinator guy lol

  56. coachbeck says: Feb 11, 2014 12:23 AM

    He will stay in Cincy or go with Zimmer. Barring someone making a stupid offer. But his best career move will be stay in Cincy and rarely see a double team. 6-8 mil a year in Cincy. A 2-3 year deal wouldn’t surprise me as hunt is developing.

  57. dcapettini says: Feb 11, 2014 5:30 AM

    Looking over where everybody is sitting with the cap, I think that free agents are going to get a very unwelcome surprise this year. If you are not a franchise QB, the pickings are going to be lean.

  58. rutchaser says: Feb 11, 2014 7:26 AM

    As long as mediocre Marv is still here, it really doesn’t matter. And to think Mike Brown let Zimmer walk out the door without giving him a shot at head coach. As a Bengals fan, some things never change.

  59. dickshotdogs says: Feb 11, 2014 8:56 AM

    Jared Allen to New England.

  60. ibottpsgoldpants says: Feb 11, 2014 9:25 AM

    As a Bengals fan, I like Johnson. But this system (Zimmer’s) seems to create top DEs each year (See Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene). When they leave, however, they don’t produce the same (See Rucker and Fanene again). The best fit for Johnson WOULD be in Minny where he could run the same system. Otherwise I fear he’ll fail and fade away like the rest of them.

  61. okeedokeesmokee says: Feb 11, 2014 10:24 AM

    He may sign with one of these 3 teams
    Jags-Bucs-Vikes,or Raiders or the Bengals may resign him some how, $h!t happens you never know. As a Jags fan I’d be happy with him signing with them. As a realistic Jags fan we’ll lose out the bid on him more than likely. This is gonna be an exciting free agency and pre-draft offseason.

  62. nflpoker says: Feb 11, 2014 11:14 AM

    Since Jared Allen and/or Everson Griffen will probably be leaving, and Zimmer now is in Minnesota, I could see the possiblity of him being in Minnesota, with his old coach.

  63. stoptrippn says: Feb 11, 2014 12:06 PM

    People will see Zimmer is not that good of a coach. 2 yrs he will be gone

  64. rainmaker1982 says: Feb 11, 2014 12:24 PM

    Rumor last offseason was the Pats were going to back the Brinks truck for this guy. Now, I hope they realize he was a product of Geno Atkins. Someone will overpay and be extremely disappointed

  65. cincinasty87 says: Feb 11, 2014 1:24 PM

    Stay in Cinci MJ

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