The Cincinnati Bengals were unable to reach a multi-year extension with franchised defensive end Michael Johnson on Monday, but the team was able to lock up defensive end Carlos Dunlap for the next six seasons, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports.
Dunlap was scheduled to earn $630,000 in base salary in 2013, the fourth and final season of a four-year, $3.72 million rookie contract that included $1.7798 million in guaranteed money. According to Florio, Dunlap's extension has a base value of $40 million and will pay out $20 million over the next two seasons.
The Bengals, who also signed first-round tight end Tyler Eifert on Monday, were about $21 million under their 2013 adjusted cap number of $133.927 million, so they had plenty of room to keep Johnson at his $11.175 million cap charge and begin the process of locking up key players for the future, such as Dunlap. The next player on the Bengals' "to-do" list figures to be defensive tackle Geno Atkins, a 2010 fourth-round pick who has 20 sacks over the last two seasons, both of which have resulted in Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections, and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2014.
Dunlap, 24, was a second-round pick out of Florida in 2010 who has started two of his 38 career regular season games. The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Dunlap has emerged as a pass-rush specialist, however, totaling 20 sacks while playing on just 41.1 percent of the Bengals' snaps over the last three seasons. With a new extension in his pocket, Dunlap's playing-time and starting responsibilities will surely increase moving forward.
Dunlap established career-highs in 2012 with 14 games played, a 54.96% playing-time percentage and 40 tackles, while adding six sacks, four forced fumbles and picked up his first career interception, which he returned 14 yards for a touchdown.