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Pete Prisco: Bengals will try to re-sign Michael Johnson

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If we could call this time of year anything, we'd love to steal NASCAR's offseason term and call it "The Silly Season."

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Whether or not the Bengals will re-sign Michael Johnson is one of the top discussions -- at least held in all mediums except for one, who writes (via a source) that releasing Carlos Dunlap would make way for, presumably, Johnson (I know... I'm still laughing). [NOTE: Have you ever laughed so hard when your stomach gets cramped up and your post-laugh cough turns into a prime example of a smoker's cough, times 50? No? Oh, well.]

Well, we're going with the source route again. It's believed that the Bengals want Johnson back, but the question is, how active (or planning to be) are the Bengals in trying to re-sign Johnson?

Pete Prisco with CBS Sports writes they are, at least, going to try.

Most expect the Bengals to let defensive end Michael Johnson walk after giving Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins big deals last year. But I hear the Bengals will actually try to re-sign Johnson. They felt he played at a high level last season, even if his sack numbers were down. Johnson is good against the run. If he hits the market, he will see a lot of activity. He is 26, which means he has a lot of good football in front of him.

Call it a foregone conclusion. We can interpret that Paul Guenther's work in developing Margus Hunt as a means for an eventual Johnson departure, or nothing more than a coach doing his job.

Former Bengals defensive tackle John Thornton, now a player representative that's a co-representing Johnson, reminded readers (via Bengals.com) that any talks that could be happening, won't be public -- thus forcing fans and the media to fill in the blanks for their own conclusions.

"I know a lot things have been said out there that there’s not a chance," Thornton said. "But that’s not the case. That just shows people don’t know about the situation. They don’t know what happened last summer. They don’t know what is happening now. The good thing about (co-rep) Rick (Smith), (Bengals Executive VP) Katie (Blackburn), (Bengals President) Mike (Brown), myself is that we’re not public people that want everything out there. I think it’s still a possibility. I think everybody really wants it to happen, so we’ll see."

There have been four teams connected to Johnson, albeit via media speculation: Including the Bengals, the Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots have been mentioned.