Post-Draft Outlook: A closer look at the Bengals' picks: Round 3/70 -- Michael Johnson, DE, 6-7, 266, Georgia Tech...A talented and athletic defensive lineman with a long wingspan. However, the thing that dropped him down into the second day was that he is wildly inconsistent. He finished third in the Atlantic Coast Conference last year with nine sacks and gives the Bengals the third-down pass rush specialist they have been seeking ... if they can get him to play consistently. - by The Sports Xchange
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Draft Scout Michael Johnson News
08/21/14 - DE Michael Johnson returned to practice Wednesday and will play vs. the Bills.
04/02/14 - DE Michael Johnson was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Buccaneers from the Bengals March 14.
10/10/13 - DE Michael Johnson is still under the concussion protocol and has not been cleared to return to practice. His string of 71 straight games ended last week.
10/02/13 - --DE Michael Johnson did not practice on Wednesday due to concussion symptoms that he reported after the Cleveland game. Due to the protocol, he could miss Sunday's game.
03/01/13 - The Cincinnati Bengals designated defensive end Michael Johnson as their franchise player, a one-year tender worth $11.175 million.
Johnson had 11.5 sacks in 2012, second on the team to defensive tackle Geno Atkins' 12.5, which are the top two single-season efforts by a Bengals player since 1983.
The team informed Johnson, whose breakout 2012 season on a solid defensive line featured 11.5 sacks, of the decision Friday.
As one the top defensive ends on the free-agent market, Johnson, 26, would have commanded significant interest among NFL teams. As it stands now, Johnson will make $11.1 million in 2013 unless he comes to terms on a new contract before next season.
The Bengals are also trying to reach an agreement with unsigned right tackle Andre Smith on a long-term contract.
"Obviously we are committed to re-signing Mike," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, "and this move is part of the process to keep a young and promising defense together. Mike has worked hard to improve himself every year during his time as a Bengal, helping us to the postseason three of four years. We have every reason to believe he will continue to grow as a leader and productive player."
Johnson is a pending free agent, and the franchise tag means the Bengals would receive two first-round picks should he sign with another team. Johnson and the Bengals can also continue to negotiate on a long-term deal.
"This guy has come up in our system, he plays about 85 percent of our snaps, and he's the kind of guy we love to have around," said defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. "He's hard-working and a great team player. He's an outstanding run defender in addition to his pass rush production. He's got great length and size, and great speed off the edge."