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Franchise tag numbers for Michael Johnson and Anthony Collins

The Cincinnati Bengals aren't expected to use the franchise tag in 2014. If they do, these are the numbers for Cincinnati's top free agents in 2014.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Say that the Cincinnati Bengals really want to keep Anthony Collins.

Since we haven't heard of any talks about a deal being negotiated between the veteran left tackle and the Cincinnati Bengals, we can only assume that the team is allowing Collins to enter free agency as an unrestricted free agent. That said, many of the team's negotiations happen privately and most agreements are sudden.

It actually makes sense. Collins isn't necessarily the top left tackle in free agency, so the team plays a dangerous game, which allows Collins' market to come back to them. This team doesn't overspend. That's just the reality of it.

However, for the sake of argument, if they really want to keep Collins, without allowing him to hit free agency, Cincinnati could apply the franchise tag. With the 2014 salary cap set at $133 million, franchise and transition tags have also been announced.

To keep Collins in Cincinnati via the franchise tag, it will cost the team $11.654 million -- all of it guaranteed. It would also serve as his salary cap number this season.

Michael Johnson is another possibility, but the point isn't very practical. Because Johnson was franchised in 2013, the cost for franchising him for a consecutive season is either 120 percent of his previous salary or the 2014 franchise tag number -- whichever is greater. For Johnson, we're applying the former, costing the team $13.41 million -- nearly $300,000 more than the franchise tag number for a defensive end in 2014.

Don't worry.

According to one report earlier this month, the Bengals aren't expected to use the franchise tag anyway.