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Cincinnati Bengals approves new deals with Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins



CINCINNATI – The Bengali met with new agreements on Tuesday with Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, who include the key components of their line of defense for the next few years.

Atkins' four-year contract has a value of $ 65.3 million, with $ 25.5 million coming in the first year, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. He will be an average of $ 16.3 million a year, a record annual average for a non-quarterback older than 30 years old.

Dunlap, 29, agreed to a $ 45 million three-year extension, reports Schefter. That will keep him under contract until the age of 31.

"Back to back," Dunlap wrote on a social media account and tagged Atkins.

Dunlap and Atkins are No. 1

and No. 2 in franchise sacks, with a combined 125 1/2 sacks between them. The Bengals made no secret that it was important in the offseason to do business with both players and that was possible with almost all other defensive players in rookie contracts.

The only exception is Michael Johnson, who will be in the final year of a four-year deal signed in 2015 that will pay him $ 5 million in bonuses this year. Johnson, 31, was once considered a rising star in the Bengals defense, but the tide began to switch to Dunlap in 2013 when he signed a five-year extension on the same day that the Bengals failed to reach an agreement with Johnson [19659002] Johnson played on the franchise for a year before signing with the Buccaneers, but returned to the Bengals after just one season in Tampa.

Dunlap and Atkins have become the most important pieces of the ball's defensive side since they were taken in the second and fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. This is the third contract for both players who have signed extensions in 2013 at intervals of a few months.

Dunlap, Atkins and a group of young players in Carl Lawson, Sam Hubbard, Jordan Willis and Andrew Billings are expected to generate a strong pass pounce on new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.


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