It was expected that Brandon Johnson would get a high tender because of his recent production, reliability and overall performance. Even though Keith Rivers replaced him in 2008 at weak-side linebacker, Johnson was still productive as a third-down backer and special teams guy. And when Rivers went down in 2008, Johnson's 90 tackles was more than anyone else on during that nine-game stretch with a 17 tackle performance against Baltimore on October 30. In 2009, Johnson played in all 16 games, starting three (for the injured Rivers) and finished with 67 tackles -- including 12 on special teams.
Johnson is such a good performer, that we've made the argument several times that not only should the Bengals tender Johnson, but they should work on signing him long-term.
Either way, reports are surfacing that the Bengals are going to offer Johnson a tender that will give the Bengals a second-round draft pick as compensation if another team signs Johnson and Cincinnati elects not to match it. Geoff Hobson writes that "since it is the second straight year he got the second-round designation, Johnson will get a 110 percent hike over his 2009 salary of $1.5 million."