The Cincinnati Bengals have some big roster decisions to make this offseason.
Among them is what to do with aging cornerback Adam Jones and defensive lineman Michael Johnson. Both players took steps back this past season and are over the age of 31, so their play will likely keep decreasing in the 2018 season.
That’s why NFL.com has both Jones and Johnson listed among their cut candidates in the AFC. The to Bengals are listed in the “on the bubble” tier, but they probably should be in the “strong candidates for release” category instead.
6-7) Adam Jones, CB, and Michael Johnson, DE, Cincinnati Bengals: On most teams, Jones and Johnson’s combined age (65 years old) and cap number ($13 million) would make them likely goners. But owner Mike Brown is more loyal to “his guys” than most, as the team’s coaching situation indicates.
That’s exactly what the case is in Cincinnati. All 31 other teams would cut Jones this offseason if they hadn’t already in 2016, which is really when the Bengals should have got rid of him after his offseason arrest. It’s time to move on from Pacman, but he’s one of Mike Brown’s guys, so most likely, he’ll be back again next season.
As for Johnson, a better case can be made for keep him, especially after he showed he could play well as a defensive tackle on passing downs last season. He’s not giving the Bengals much as an outside pass-rusher anymore, but he is still making an impact along the defensive line.
Depending on what the Bengals do in free agency and the draft should determine if he’s back. I would venture to say both Johnson and Jones are back next season, but perhaps Marvin Lewis having a bigger say in free agency will lead to a different outcome.