Posted: 9:47 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2, 2013
By Josh Kirkendall
Happy Labor Day, my friends.
And happy get paid for tremendous labor day, Geno Atkins.
The Cincinnati Bengals and defensive tackle Geno Atkins have agreed to an extension, originally reported by Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer. According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the five-year extension is worth $55 million.
Atkins was originally entering the final year of a four-year rookie contract, and many view him as one of (if not the) best three-technique defensive tackles in the NFL. Dating back to 2010, Atkins has generated 23 quarterback sacks, including a team-leading 12.5 sacks in 2012, which ranks third for a single-season in franchise history. Atkins has also generated 135 quarterback pressures, 81 quarterback hurries, and an additional 29 quarterback hits in three seasons.
Over two months ago, Jason La Canfora with CBSSports.com wrote that significant differences remained between Atkins' representatives and the organization, suggesting that the "numbers exchanged by the sides thus far are miles apart from what I've heard." When the team spent a week in Atlanta for joint practices with the Falcons, Atkins reportedly spent significant time with his agents Pat Dye and Bill Johnson. The sides have been speaking about an extension dating back to January during the Senior Bowl and have continued infrequent dialogue since.
The Bengals entered the offseason wanting to secure their core defensive players to long-term extensions. After applying the franchise tag on Michael Johnson, they tried signing the fifth-year defensive end to a five-year extension worth $40 million prior to the July 15 deadline. He refused. Cincinnati quickly announced a five-year extension for Carlos Dunlap instead, amounting to $95 million worth of extensions to Atkins and Dunlap in the past month.