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Bengals Marvin Lewis Still Sees Michael Johnson As An Option At Outside Linebacker

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With the possibility of moving Maualuga to inside linebacker if/when Dhani Jones leaves Cincinnati during free agency, the Bengals will have a void at strong-side outside linebacker to fill. Be it a new player (draft pick or a free agency acquisition) or someone already on the team, if Maualuga moves inside, the Bengals will need a fulltime starting outside linebacker. There's some speculation that Roddrick Muckelroy, a second-year linebacker out of Texas, could compete for the spot, considering that before becoming the Longhorns inside linebacker, Muckelroy was the team's outside linebacker.

Another player that could move to outside linebacker is defensive end Michael Johnson, who spent training camp and preseason working out as a strong-side outside linebacker last season. And according to Geoff Hobson, Marvin Lewis still sees Johnson as a possible option to replace Maualuga.

When Jonathan Fanene reaggrevated a hamstring strain against the New England Patriots that he initially hurt during the preseason, the team had no choice but to keep Johnson on the defensive line. And when Antwan Odom lost four games because of a suspension and another eight games with injuries, Johnson was forced to become a regular, starting 10 games.

But that hardly leaves the NFL Draft alone. If Johnson makes the move to outside linebacker, the team will need to draft a defensive end to replace him, even if the organization doesn't plan on cutting Odom or Robert Geathers, which is somewhat expected.