This is really good news.
Geno Atkins: 4-year extension for $65.3M, $25.5M in first year, per source. More than 50% contract($37.5M) paid in first 2 years. $16.3M yearly average is highest yearly average signed by a 30+ year old non-QB in NFL history.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 28, 2018
So is this...
Bengals and DE Carlos Dunlap agreed to a 3-year, $45 million contract extension, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 28, 2018
I have a few quick, instant thoughts on this news, which comes at the end of what's been a pretty productive offseason....
Geno Atkins is still an excellent player, one of the best at his position, a guy who's showing now sign of slowing down, and even if defensive tackles have an uphill battle in getting to Canton, a possible Hall of Famer.
Carlos Dunlap is a very good player, and a guy that heads into his age-29 season with plenty left in the tank.
With the additions and improvements the Bengals have made to their pass rush and defensive line, they should be able to maximize the value of both veteran players, even as they age.
The team's identity clearly lies with their depth and quality up front on defense, something that Atkins and Dunlap will anchor into the next decade.
The Bengals, meanwhile, continue to be a team that - with a few glaring exceptions - does what's need to keep their best players at pretty sensible market deals.
This kind of thing is made easier by not having a quarterback whose salary occupies a oversized fraction of the payroll, and by making some smart, forward-thinking cost-cutting moves.
There's longer-term contract questions on the horizon, such as what a healthy season for Tyler Eifert in 2018 could mean for his long-term earnings, what kind of deal Andy Dalton and the Bengals have in mind as his free agency approaches, and how Odell Beckham's new deal in New York will impact what the Bengals will do with AJ Green, whose future is interesting in its own right given that he's still very, very good and that his deal will expire just before he turns 32.
I'm getting ahead of myself, of course. For now, it feels like the Bengals' offseason work has finished. (Unless they trade for a backup quarterback, smiley face emoji.)
It's been a good day. And in most respects, it's been a good offseason.