All off-season the Bengals fans have been waiting for yesterday to come. Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are here in Cincinnati to stay.
August 28th 2018 marked the day that Mike Brown secured the Bengals defensive line for the next four years. Mike Brown has been under a lot of scrutiny during his reign. A lot of fans express the feeling that he doesn’t know what talent he has on the ball team. He trades and/or cuts players that should have been a team staple like Andrew Whitworth. Now when he said we have two years to get this to a contending championship team he has made every step possible and this was the final piece to the puzzle. The signing of Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap will secure the defensive line for another 3 to 4 years.
Geno Atkins DT was the Bengals fourth round pick in 2010 from the University of Georgia. He was a great talent but no one knew he would be talented enough 8 years later to be a Hall Of Fame player. He has made it to the Pro Bowl 6 times and the only year he didn’t was when he was injured. He has 61 sacks and only needs two more quality seasons to beat the Bengals all time sack record. His contract extension is good through 2022 which is four years at $65.2 million. 25 million is guaranteed and he gets 37.5 million through 2019. He is worth every penny.
Carlos Dunlap DE was the Bengals second round pick in 2010 from the University of Florida. He has two Pro Bowls and 64.5 sacks. He has been a force on the end for many years. His contract extension goes through 2021 for three years at 45 million. There are no other specifics on the contract at this time.
So we are in an era where offense reigns supreme. I love the old school mentality that the Bengals have. A great defense still wins championships. One thing I would like to add is: What is better? Having two great Defensive linemen or having one great Defensive lineman like Aaron Donald. Best part about that question is there are more talent on that defensive line that is coming. The best of the Bengals defense will come the next 5 years.
The supplemental draft has been held since 1977 and the Bengals have only picked up one player out of the 43 that have been in this draft. This year there are two intriguing names in the draft.
What is the supplemental draft?
This is a draft where players have had their eligibility eliminated after the regular draft. The Supplemental draft is designed to give underclassmen — who did not petition the NFL for early entry before the draft deadline but find themselves ineligible for the upcoming college season — a way to enter the league.
There have only been 43 players that have been drafted in this way since 1977. Only one became a Hall Of Famer. Cris Carter was picked in 1987 and was inducted in 2013. The Bengals have selected only one player in the supplemental draft. That player was Ahmad Brooks linebacker from Virginia in 2006.
This is how the supplemental draft works:
Teams are split into three groups.
- Teams that won less than six games
- Teams that won more than six games but didn’t make the playoffs
- All twelve teams that made the playoffs
Every team can bid on a player of interest and what round they want that player in. Whoever has the higher bid wins the player. No team has to bid. The teams that won a player has to give up the same pick in that round for the next draft season. So if a team picks a player in the 2nd round they have to give up their 2nd round pick in the next regular draft.
Do the Bengals have any interest in the three supplemental players this year?
Virginia Tech defensive back Adonis Alexander is a huge player on the Bengals radar. He had 7 picks and 17 pass deflections. Another defensive back on their radar is Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant. Bryant is a speedster. He was clocked at 4.24 and he can cover the whole field. He can hit like a freight train also.
Watch this footage on Brandon Bryant as he puts it into fifth gear on this pick six play.
In the 2019 NFL Draft the Bengals have five six round picks. If the Bengals want to make a move for either one of these star defensive backs they will bid in the sixth. The Bengals are looking extensively at Adonis Alexander but I have been looking at Brandon Bryant for a while now.
Tell me what you think in the comments section.
The Cincinnati Bengals best sack leaders will be on the spotlight. Both Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins are on a contract year. Bet on those two.
Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins as we all know is approaching their contract year. Usually when players don’t get their extension in the off-season they have to play like it is their last time with the team.
Dunlap and Atkins are both approaching Eddie Edwards for the sack lead in Bengals history. It will take them two seasons to pass him. It will build the incentive for both players if they have a great contract year. This could be why they are waiting to hit a deal. Huge bonuses should be in order. Both players will be in their 30s but they will also possibly see the biggest paycheck in their age range.
Bet on this! The duo of Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins will total 25+ sacks within the 2018 season. Both players will also be ahead of the franchise sack leaders taking over Eddie Edwards spot. The disruption of younger players will also help their cause. Jordan Willis is looking more and more like a starter as an edge rusher and the rookie Sam Hubbard will have a stake at the Qb also.
Geno Atkins is more than capable of having double-digit sacks. He had 12.5 sacks in 2012 and 11 sacks in 2015. He has 61 sacks total in his career. Carlos Dunlap has only one double digit sack season with 13.5 sacks in 2015. He has been less consistent than Atkins but he is more then capable of making double digit sacks. He has 64.5 career sacks.
After the Cincinnati Bengals had their 3rd week of OTAs, it is clear they want to rely on the younger players. There have been interesting strides for rookie Safety Jessie Bates and second year wide receiver Josh Malone.
In week three Teryl Austin has put Jessie Bates on the safety position. This was due to the injury to Shawn Williams. Jessie Bates played free safety in college but has been put in the strong safety role. He has been playing lights out as far as how easy it is to adapt. He will start in place of Williams when training starts. I cant wait to see what he does in live contact and in the first pre-season game.
Most of the OTAs have matched Josh Malone with William Jackson III. Josh Malone had a poor rookie season but we can blame that not on his ability but on the offensive line and having no time for Andy Dalton to throw the football. Josh has been getting open and his routes are getting very polished. Putting him against the Bengals better cover guys makes them want more out of the wide receiver from Tennessee. His great hands and very good route running would make me believe they want him to make the team and maybe fight for that third receiver.
Jessie Bates already reminds me of a mini David Fulcher. He has shown he can play both safety positions and he has played some hybrid situations. He will be great in different defensive schemes. It will help that weak Line backer core with coverage on the tight ends and running backs. Now how hard does Jessie Bates hit? We wont know if he hits like Fulcher till they get the pads on.
Josh Malone reminds me of another wide receiver from Tennessee. Reminder Carl Pickens in the 90s. Josh has the hands , has the speed, and has disciplined route running just like Pickens but without the bad attitude. He knows he has to shine with a couple of other receivers shining past him last season.
Geno Atkins is still waiting on a contract extension. It could be easier if they negotiate quickly. There can be a lot of drama coming from Aaron Donald with getting his extension done.
The two front-runners on getting contract extensions this year is the Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins and the Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. This whole off-season has been all about how big Donald will set the new standard for contracts for DTs. There has been slight difficulty on getting a fair deal done. Donald should be able to get any number signed but there are some other notable players ready for a contract extension also.
Aaron Donald is set to make 25+million a year and most of it guaranteed. Geno Atkins extension has been waiting to see what Donald’s price tag would be. The Rams also have Todd Gurley which is a running back that no one can afford to lose. He would most likely be tagged but they will have to deal with him sooner than later. They also have Tavon Austin and Brandin Cooks that should get extensions because of the way the Rams offense is set up for the receivers. The Rams have 16 free agents in 2019 not including Todd Gurley.
What does the 2019 free agent crisis of the Rams mean to the Bengals and Geno Atkins? It means the bar could be set lower than originally planned. This also could mean Atkins can set the bar and they can even go higher because of their 70 million in cap space for next season. Plus the Bengals have went through their free agent crisis last season. They have a ton to spend. The Bengals need to cut a deal now while the Rams are licking their wounds.
The saturation of star power is unbelievable for the Rams. This will give the Bengals leverage to strike up a deal now when there is plenty of cap space and margins won’t go up.
Everyone has heard of what the former corner back has done in Western Michigan. Now there is a good chance we all can see him contribute as a starter down the line.
Darius Phillips is now known as a defensive touchdown maker. In his four-year college career he had five kickoff returns for a touchdown. Later in his junior year he started returning punts and had a touchdown return. As a corner back he had five interceptions for touchdowns and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. In his freshman year he even had two receiving touchdowns. In conclusion he is a magnet for the end zone.
In OTAs Darius Phillips is already making a splash. In first round of OTAs he had 2 interceptions and a couple batted balls. He is now playing with the first team to see how well things go. He isn’t disappointing anyone.
He looks like he can be the replacement of Adam Jones. This poses a good problem. What happens with Dre Kirkpatrick? His 2017 season was on a huge decline compared to the two years before.
There has been a lot of talk about Dre going out. Darqueze Dennard should be safe as he emerged as a top slot corner back. William Jackson III has earned the right to have a starting role. Dre Kirkpatrick should be safe for now since the team wont be saving cap space till 2019. His trade value at the moment is high now. With a trade it will take nearly 8 million dollars off the books where as if he is cut this year it only saves 1 millions.
There should be no worries to anyone but as starters you could see Darius starting this year sometime. Keep doing what he does best. The secret is out now about this kid from Western Michigan.
Second year defensive end Jordan Willis is sharpening his skills at the OTAs. With improving his skills and with a good rookie season last year, he should win a starting job.
Jordan Willis had a very good rookie season last year for a back up. He has great lateral quickness and a decent pass rush as he has shown last year. 60% of his snaps last year was on running plays and it was hard for offenses to contain him with his speed and agility.
Problem is Jordan Willis came out of college as a 3-4 defensive end. That is a good indication that we would see more great run stopping ability. The Bengals run a 4-3 defense. This limits Jordan Willis full potential. Reason is because Michael Johnson is a true 4-3 defensive end and has better pressure on the qb. Jordan Willis is not a true edge rusher yet he is forced to play one in the Bengals current scheme. There have been talks that Teryl Austin will run both a 3-4 and a 4-3 in certain situations. This will help Willis.
Jordan Willis had 25 tackles and one sack in his rookie season. He is a huge favorite of new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. Michael Johnson’s contract is up after this season. In OTAs Jordan Willis has been getting pointers by legend defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap came to the league as a 3-4 defensive end also but has transitioned quickly to one of the best defensive ends the Bengals ever had.
Look for Jordan Willis to have a great season as a run stopper at the edge. He has been excelling at new moves to get to the Qb on the edge. He will excel as a great compliment on the other side of Carlos Dunlap.