Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap were both entering contract years, but the Bengals changed that on Tuesday. The team extended Atkins for four more seasons and Dunlap for three more. Atkins is set to make $65.3 million during his new contract, and Dunlap’s extension is worth $45 million. This means Atkins will be around until at least the 2022 season, and Dunlap will reach the 2021 season.
In total, the Bengals are investing $110.3 million in the defensive line with just these two signings.
Both players have been foundation pieces for this team. Atkins is the kind of veteran who leads by example. He exudes this monstrous presence on the field, and he can often be found pushing interior linemen into their quarterback’s lap.
geno sacks a quarterback with his own lineman part 2517482 pic.twitter.com/sHtsChfK0o— John Sheeran (@John__Sheeran) August 27, 2018
It is so valuable to have an interior defensive lineman who can collapse a pocket. It forces teams to double team Atkins to prevent him from getting pressure in the face of their quarterback. This opens things up for everyone else on the defensive line with one-on-one blocks to beat. Heck, sometimes Atkins is tasked with taking on three guys. And he can handle that just fine, too.
Dunlap is great at what he does. He will end up being either the Bengals’ leading sacker or second to Atkins by the time he is done in Cincinnati. He is also adept at batting down passes at the line of scrimmage. In fact, last season he deflected a pass against the Colts that he ended up catching and running back for a touchdown. That play ended up winning the game for the Bengals.
Of course, the Bengals are pretty deep along the defensive line with several young players starting to flourish. Carl Lawson had 8.5 sacks in his rookie season, and players like Jordan Willis, Andrew Billings and Sam Hubbard have flashed serious potential through the preseason.
This move seems to preserve the Bengals’ defensive depth for quite awhile. However, just to play devil’s advocate, Atkins is 30-years old and Dunlap is 29-years-old. These are pretty decent-sized contracts to give to players this far into their career, but given the veteran leadership aspect it is hard to argue. Atkins deal gives him the highest yearly average signed by a 30-year-old (or older) non-quarterback in NFL history.
What do you think about the Bengals’ move to lock up their two veteran pass rushers?
What do you think about the Bengals’ extensions for Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap
This poll is closed
They made the right choice, easily! I only wish they could’ve gotten Dunlap’s done even quicker after Atkins.
I wish they could’ve signed one of them for less.
I love the Atkins signing but not as much Dunlap.
I love the Dunlap signing but not as much Atkins.
I would’ve been okay with letting both walk in free agency, AKA I’m a Steelers fan.
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