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Bengals Talking Contract With Michael Johnson, Who Really Wants To Return

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Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson really wants to return to Cincinnati and his agent is already speaking with the Bengals front office about a new deal.

Jamie Sabau

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson has steadily improved, nearly doubling his six quarterback sacks in 2011 with 11.5 in 2012, which ranks fifth in a single-season in franchise history. Johnson, one of Cincinnati's 2009 third-round selections, is entering the offseason as an unrestricted free agent that Cincinnati would like to have back.

"I would like to stay in Cincinnati. You can always find something wrong with your current position, but the grass is not always greener on the other side," Johnson told Robert Hudson with the Selma Times Journal. "This is the team that’s drafted me, they believed in me over everybody else, I’m embedded in the community up there, my teammates love me, the coaches and the owners. Everybody wants me to be there. I’m not against staying, whether that’s a long-term deal or if I was to get a franchise tag. However we can work it out, I would like to be a Cincinnati Bengal."

According to Johnson, the Cincinnati Bengals and Johnson's agent are talking.

"From what he told me, they really, really want me back — the owners, the coaches, my teammates as well," Johnson said. "We've developed a nice brotherhood amongst us as a team. That's not always the case in every NFL locker room. We hang out together, we’re like high school teammates or college teammates. Our families hang out together, it's a different environment up there."