Despite an eleventh-hour report that the Cincinnati Bengals were communicating with his representatives, defensive end Michael Johnson will play under the franchise tag this year. The one-year contract is worth $11.175 million with the entire salary guaranteed this season.
Reports began to surface last month that the gap between the team and Johnson was significant. Further casting doubt that an extension would be struck was Joe Reedy's report on July 8 saying that indications are that he'd play under the one-year franchise contract.
The last time that the Cincinnati Bengals successfully signed a franchise player to an extension prior to the deadline was running back Rudi Johnson. Mike Nugent was the first player to sign an extension (at all) after being franchised, when he agreed to a two-year deal earlier this year.
Johnson's cap number will be $11.175 million, the cost of his salary, which is the most (by nearly $3 million) on the team this year.
Michael Johnson's agent, Rich Smith tweeted after the deadline passed.