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NFL Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals Need to Lock Up Michael Johnson to Long-Term Deal

(Andrew Weber/USA Today Sports)

Over the last two seasons, the Cincinnati Bengals have emerged as surprise contenders in the AFC and as crazy as it sounds–there’s a good chance they could be even better during the 2013 season. The Bengals’ defense has been one of the main reasons why this team has seen so much success over the last two seasons and even though star defensive tackle Michael Johnson was slapped with the franchise tag for this year–the team should strongly consider him locking him up to a long-term deal.

Even though he’ll be making a little more than $11 million for the upcoming season, the last thing the Bengals want to see happen is risk the chance of losing Johnson once the 2013 season is over and done with considering how valuable he’s been to the defense. Johnson finished with 11.5 sacks during the 2012 season and with the way his career has gone so far–there’s a good chance his numbers will be even better in 2013.

With the way things are shaping up in the AFC North, Cincinnati has the chance to be a strong contender in the division for the next couple of years and it’s no secret they realize just how valuable Johsnon has been to the defense. He may be happy with the situation at the moment, but the Bengals should be smart and lock him up to a long-term deal sooner rather than later.

Otherwise–they could be at risk of losing Johnson down the road if he ever hits free agency and decides to test the market.