Bengals Defensive End Carlos Dunlap: We Want To Keep The Defensive Trio Together

USA TODAY Sports

In his first interview with the Cincinnati media since signing his new contract, Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap addressed a number of subjects, including the collective desire to keep the team's defensive core intact.

When the Bengals gave defensive end Carlos Dunlap a mega-extension, the football world was a bit stunned. A six-year deal, which in essence is a five-year extension, gave Dunlap a $40 million deal and ensured that the Bengals would hang on to one of their core pieces going forward.

On Tuesday, Dunlap addressed the local media on a variety of topics just a short while after the ink dried on the new contract. Thanks to Joe Danneman of FOX 19, Kevin Goheen of FOX Sports Ohio, The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy and Bengals.com editor, Geoff Hobson, we received some great insight from Dunlap. And, if you think that you were surprised, no one was more shocked by the offer than Dunlap himself.

Some other reassuring news from Dunlap was that the defense's "big three" want to stay together in Cincinnati.

On one hand, the possibility of the three of them staying together in Cincinnati increased with Dunlap's extension. Much like the other "Big Three" in Miami, Atkins and Johnson could be persuaded to stay in Cincinnati because of their dedication to build long-term success. That success lies with keeping a key guy like Dunlap and perhaps the other key defensive players recognize that.

On the other hand, the pocket book can only be opened up so much, can't it? Though the Bengals could use the franchise tag on either Johnson or Atkins in 2014, doing so would be expensive--especially with other contract extensions looming on the horizon.

Regardless, Dunlap is still hungry even though he got paid handsomely and sounded off on that as well.

You can listen to the full audio at the mothership here.

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