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Mike Daniels is the perfect backup to Geno Atkins

The Bengals’ new veteran DT might only play 20 snaps a game, but he complements the line perfectly.

Dallas Cowboys v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Bengals have already decided to limit Geno Atkins’ snaps this season. They now have the player who can make that work.

On Tuesday, Cincinnati officially signed the defensive tackle formerly of the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions to a 1-year, $2.7 million deal. Though he has struggled with foot injuries the last two years, he immediately becomes one of the most talented backups on the defensive line.

In the video above, John Sheeran predicts that Atkins will play about 60% of the snaps at 3-technique, D.J. Reader will move all over the line, and Renell Wren will get opportunities at the 5-technique. That will still leave Daniels with about 20 snaps a game, Sheeran figures. Those limited snaps could still turn into big plays, considering Daniels’ experience and undeniable talent, as he was named to the NFL’s Top 100 Players List three straight years (2016-2018) by his peers.

Like Atkins, Daniels is a bit shorter for a defensive tackle (6’0, compared to 6’1” for Atkins) but exceptionally strong (he weighs 310 pounds, and Atkins weight 300 pounds). They both also excel against both the run and pass. From 2012-2019, Daniels had an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 86.0, a run grade of 84.6, and a pass grade of 77.4.

While it isn’t as big of a signing as Reader, this move to add depth actually upgraded the roster after the loss of Josh Tupou (opt out) and Ryan Glasgow (failed physical). The Bengals continue to demonstrate that this is not a rebuilding year, and fans couldn’t be happier.