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Bengals salary cap breakdown: Defensive line

Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson and Geno Atkins account for nearly $18 million in salaries this year.

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Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Even after a subpar 2014 season, the Bengals' defensive line will be paid handsomely in 2015.

A big reason for the positions large collective salary after getting just 16.5 sacks last year is the return of Michael Johnson. After a one-year hiatus in Tampa Bay, Johnson is back with a manageable $2.6 million cap hit this year. Any time you get a guy capable of what Johnson brought to Cincinnati in the past, it's worth it.

Here's a look at the salary cap breakdown for the entire Bengals defensive line:

POS.

BASE SALARY

SIGNING BONUS

ROSTER BONUS

DEAD CAP

CAP HIT

Carlos Dunlap

DE

$3,000,000

$1,600,000

-

($4,800,000)

$4,900,000

Michael Johnson

DE

$1,300,000

$1,125,000

$175,000

($4,500,000)

$2,600,000

Wallace Gilberry

DE

$1,850,000

$200,000

-

($200,000)

$2,050,000

Margus Hunt

DE

$688,736

$262,473

-

($524,946)

$1,001,209

Will Clarke

DE

$510,000

$136,345

-

($409,035)

$656,345

Marcus Hardison

DE

$435,000

$86,423

-

($345,692)

$521,423

Sam Montgomery

DE

$510,000

-

-

-

$510,000

Geno Atkins

DT

$5,700,000

$3,000,000

-

($9,000,000)

$9,000,000

Domata Peko

DT

$2,000,000

-

$1,500,000

-

$3,700,000

Brandon Thompson

DT

$665,000

$130,300

-

($130,300)

$795,300

Devon Still

DT

$660,000

$50,000

-

($50,000)

$740,000

Pat Sims

DT

$870,000

$50,000

-

($50,000)

$665,000

Kwame Geathers

DT

$510,000

-

-

-

$510,000

DeShawn Williams

DT

$435,000

$1,666

-

($5,000)

$436,666

Kalafitoni Pole

DT

$435,000

$166

-

($500)

$435,166

Carlos Dunlap did have a decent year with sacks and an 8.3 Pro Football Focus rating. He earned his $8.6 million cap hit in 2014, and he'll likely do so again in 2015 with just a $4.9 million salary for the year. Robert Geathers and Wallace Gilberry combined to make $4.5 million last year, despite combining for just 2.5 sacks. Now, Geathers is gone and Gilberry will make just $2 million this year.

Geno Atkins has a hefty $9-million cap hit, which is 5.92 percent of the team's 2015 cap. Domata Peko takes up a sizable $3.7 million. Margus Hunt is the only other player making at least $1 million this year, if he's even on the 53-man roster. He counts for a little over $500,000 if released.

All in all, the defensive line will make a total of $26 million in 2015, the 10th-highest of any NFL team's D-line. It's also the highest-paid unit on the Bengals' roster. Hopefully, their play on the field lives up to their lofty pay this year.