The Bengals are keeping backup lineman T.J. Johnson for at least two more years.
Johnson was originally set to become an exclusive-rights free agent this offseason, and the Bengals quickly tendered him to a one-year deal that would have cost about $1.8 million next season.
However, the two sides eventually hammered out a two-year deal that will instead pay him just under that in each of the next two seasons. Johnson’s new deal will pay him $1,300,000 in base salary this year with a $175,000 signing bonus and a $150,000 workout bonus, bringing his total cap hit to $1,625,000.
It’s a similar setup in 2018 with a base salary of $1,525,000, a signing bonus of $175,000, a workout bonus of $150,000, and a total cap hit of $1,850,000. If the Bengals were to cut Johnson this season, they would have a dead cap hit of $350,000 in 2017 and $175,00 in 2018.
Here is a look at Johnson’s contract, courtesy of Over The Cap:
2017 Base Salary: $1,300,000
2017 Prorated Bonus: $175,000
2017 Workout Bonus: $150,000
2017 Cap Number: $1,625,000
2017 Dead Money if Cut (pre-June 1): $350,000
2017 Dead Money if Cut (post-June 1): $175,000
2017 Cap Savings if Cut (pre-June 1): $1,275,000
2017 Cap Savings if Cut (post-June 1): $1,450,000
2018 Base Salary: $1,525,000
2018 Prorated Bonus: $175,000
2018 Workout Bonus: $150,000
2018 Cap Number: $1,850,000
2018 Dead Money if Cut (anytime): $175,000
2018 Cap Savings if Cut (anytime): $1,675,000
Johnson is classified as a fourth-year NFL player in 2017 who originally joined the Bengals in 2013 as a seventh-round draft selection out of South Carolina. He played in every game in 2016, seeing his highest level of snaps with the offense and starting at left guard in the season finale against the Baltimore Ravens. He played in 12 games during the 2015 season, including the Wild Card playoff game.
Johnson will likely make the final roster this year as he can serve as a backup guard and center. With Russell Bodine’s continual struggles and Kevin Zeitler’s departure, both of those positions could use help. It’s even possible he takes on the starting right guard duties in 2017 if Andre Smith doesn’t work out there.