After a season in which he only had 3.5 sacks and fellow Bengals defensive linemen Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins received big paydays and the team spend a second round pick on end Margus Hunt, the chances of Johnson returning to the Queen City for 2014 are at “20 percent” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“When Geno Atkins gets 5 years/$55 million, you can forget paying another player on the line the amount of cash Johnson will warrant long term. Somebody will throw a load of money (somewhere between Dunlap/Atkins) at Johnson and the Bengals likely can’t afford to match it. They could decide to re-franchise Johnson and take the big hit one more season. That’s about the only way he returns in my estimation.”
Would the Bengals tag Johnson again and devote that much cap space to one player and have so much money tied up to one position group? Well, there’s an 80 percent chance that they won’t according to the Enquirer, but his teammates aren’t including him in offseason activities suggesting it’s more like 100 percent.