Bengals to tag Michael Johnson, opening a big door
The Bengals had a choice to make, and they’re going to make sure they keep the pass-rusher instead of the protector.
According to multiple reports, the Bengals have chosen to use the franchise tag on defensive end Michael Johnson prior to the March 4 deadline, and not right tackle Andre Smith.
The tag on Johnson will require a one-year deal worth $11.175 million, and means they’ll have to expose Smith to the market if they can’t get a deal done between now and March 12 (which Smith has no motivation to pursue at the moment).
The moves makes sense, given the relative glut of starting-grade tackles relative to guys who can sack the quarterback.
Johnson broke through with 11.5 sacks last year, his first season in double-digits.