Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins is entering the final year of a four-year deal that he signed in 2010 as a fourth-round draft pick. Since then he's largely identified as the best defensive tackle in football, scoring higher rankings than Haloti Ngata and Ndamukong Suh during the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2013.
When asked about the status of an extension, Atkins deflected.
"I let my agent handle it. It’s between them two (the agent and the team)," Atkins told Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I’m just out here doing OTAs and minicamp and getting ready for the season."
Atkins is expected to receive a fairly lucrative deal, likely one of the biggest contracts at his position. Reports surfaced in January that the Bengals and Pat Dye, Atkins' agent, have already begun conversations.
"We had some dialogue down here," Pat Dye said after one of the Senior Bowl workouts. "In an ideal world, both sides would like to get something sooner rather than later. He's been to two Pro Bowls at age 24, so he's en elite player at his position. I know they recognize that. It's just a matter of sitting down and getting it done in a way that that satisfies both sides."
Reports also surfaced in February that the Bengals have been having discussions with Carlos Dunlap, who is also entering a contract year. Cincinnati would like to an extension finalized for franchise tag recipient Michael Johnson with a July 15 deadline to get something done.