After back-to-back playoff appearances over the last two seasons, expectations are at an all-time high for the Cincinnati Bengals heading into the 2013 season as many believe they not only have what it takes to win the division, but the AFC in general. One of the main reasons why this team has seen so much success of the last two seasons is due to a defense that has ranked near the top of the league and now–the team doesn’t have to worry about losing one of their key players down the road after locking up a new deal with defensive star Geno Atkins.
Cincinnati agreed to a five-year extension worth $55 million with Atkins as the team is just a few days away from their first game of the 2013 regular season against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. In just three seasons, Atkins has emerged as one of the biggest surprise defensive stars as he’s earned Pro Bowl honors over the last two years and there was a reason for concern after the team decided to give a new deal to Carlos Dunlap in the offseason.
Now, the Bengals don’t have to worry about losing either of these star players over the next couple of years.
The fact that Cincinnati managed to land Atkins in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft a couple of years ago shows just how big of a steal the defensive star was and the defense should rank near the top of the league once again assuming he stays healthy. Just when Bengals fans thought they couldn’t get any more excited for what’s in store during the 2013 season, Mike Brown and company pull off a big move right before opening day on Sunday with this new deal for Atkins.