Looking at where the Bengals are with Geno Atkins contract discussions

Thomas B. Shea

A series of updates regarding contract discussions with Geno Atkins surfaced this week.

It wasn't so much a contractual update, as it was a series of reminders that the Bengals want to get a deal done with defensive tackle Geno Atkins. Maybe there's a greater push to get a deal done. Preferably before the team kicks off their regular season opener in Chicago; which is a consistent timeline with deals that the Bengals have extended in the past.

During Cincinnati's preseason opener in Atlanta, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter wrote that the Bengals are "making a major push" to sign Atkins to a long-term extension. This "update" surfaced after reports that Atkins was meeting with agents Pat Dye Jr. and Bill Johnson for an extended period of time following Tuesday's practice in Atlanta.

Len Pasquarelli with the National Football Post writes that the meet was mostly to touch base.

...the confab was mostly just touching base, not a detailed rehashing of the team’s desire to reach a contract extension with the two-time Pro Bowl tackle. Perhaps a deal gets done – the agents have a good relationship with the Bengals, cut an extension for offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth not that long ago, and the two sides have had cursory discussions – but there is still a ways to go before ink meets paper...

Following Schefter's report on Thursday, Pro Football Talk updated the story that no agreement is actually imminent.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, nothing is imminent between the Bengals and Atkins. The talks, which we’re told have been occurring for months, have no clear timeline.

Atkins is projected to become one of, if not the highest, earner for a defensive tackle in league history. Currently Ndamukong Suh ($13.1 million) and Gerald McCoy ($12.7 million) have the highest average salaries at the position, mostly due to their rookie contract as second and third overall selections during the 2010 NFL draft. Haloti Ngata ($9.7 million) and Darnell Docket ($9.3 million) round out the top-four.

The question is if the Bengals will help him get there.

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