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Old 12-03-2012, 10:10 PM
Kevbo37 Kevbo37 is offline
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Default If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

Michael Johnson is having a breakout campaign this season in his contract year. We all knew he had major potential and upside when the Bengals took him out of Georgia Tech number 70 overall in the third-round of the 2009 NFL draft. I also think it's safe to say that most all of us want him back (especially with Robert Geathers and Wallace Gilberry scheduled to hit free agency as well). But... and there is that quintessential but...

If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency and big-money elsewhere -

Would you:

(1.) Address the issue in the draft or via free agency?

Note: Other defensive end free agent options include - Cliff Avril (although he's likely more $$$ than Johnson), Lawrence Jackson, Kyle Moore, Dwight Freeney (too old, too small, and waaaay too much $$$), George Selvie, Osi Umenyiora (too old, too expensive), Matt Shaughnessy (didn't he just get a number of cheap shots in on Andrew Whitworth's kidney), and Michael Bennett. Out of those options, the ones that could potentially be realistic signings who could actually produce on the field are Kyle Moore from the Bills and Michael Bennett from the Buccaneers. Ehh... uh-oh. Given that the defensive free-agent class is both old and thin (Umenyiora and Freeney most recognizable names), Michael Johnson could be the most attractive end out there for teams in the market for one, and could be in for a h-u-g-e, huge payday. Given the options (and of course I'll admit once players start being cut in the offseason as cap-saving casualties, there will likely be more) that would be available to them should the Bengals lose Johnson, in my opinion the draft would be the best place to find a replacement. The Bengals recent draft success and small-market mindset of building through the draft recently also favors the draft as the place to fill the hole left by Johnson.

(2.) If the draft what round? Is his departure demanding of an impact first-round caliber talent?

(3.) Say the issue is resolved through the draft, given current round projections, who would you like to see the Bengals take?

In my opinion the best first-round options include:
  • Demontre Moore, Texas A&M, 6'4" 250 pounds, 12.5 sacks
  • Sam Montgomery, LSU, 6'5" 260 pounds, 7 sacks
  • Barkevious Mingo, LSU, 6'5" 240 pounds, 4 sacks (more of a 3-4 twiner... not a fan)
  • Bjoern Werner, Florida State, 6'4" 255 pounds, 13 sacks

My favorite in this group has got to be Werner. The athletic German can change the game off the edge! Plus he's got the best combination of size, speed, and production out of the whole group.

But say you don't want to force the hand in the first round or reach, or say the Bengals spot comes up and all the afore mentioned guys have been taken, then what? Well, thanks to the porous Raiders, that second-rounder they're graciously giving us for Palmer will practically be a late first-rounder with as early as it could end up being in the second. Heck, it could be the first pick of the second round when all is said and done! Then perhaps the Bengals could use this pick to replace Johnson.

Guys with a late-first to early-second-round grades include:
  • Alex Okafor, Texas, 6'4" 265 pounds, 8 sacks
  • Dion Jordan, Oregon, 6'7" 243 pounds, 5 sacks
  • Corey Lemonier, Auburn, 6'4" 246 pounds, 5.5 sacks (rather take him as a Lawson replacement at LB if Cincy drafts him)
  • Ezekiel Ansah, BYU, 6'6" 270 pounds, 4.5 sacks
  • Cornellius Carradine, Florida State, 6'5" 265 pounds, 11 sacks

My favorite in this group has got to be Carradine. No I am not a Florida State Seminole fan, it's merely a coincidence. Carradine, like Werner, has the best combination of size, athleticism, and production out of the entire group. It doesn't hurt that he's a hometown kid.

But say the Bengals use their first two picks to address needs elsewhere whether it be at safety, linebacker, offensive-line, or playmaker (running back or receiver) then maybe they use their second second-round pick on an end to replace Johnson.

Guys with solid second-round grades include:
  • Margus Hunt, SMU, 6'8" 280 pounds, 6 sacks
  • Will Sutton, Arizona State, 6'2" 271 pounds, 10.5 sacks
  • John Simon, Ohio State, 6'2" 260 pounds, 9 sacks

While I'll admit an Ohio State bias, my favorite option from this list is John Simon. Mainly because Simon has a beast of a frame. Hunt is huge and while that'll help in batting balls, it could hurt his speed rush on the edge. Sutton's frame is squatty and does not suggest NFL stardom.

In conclusion, my picks for the draft to potentially replace Michael Johnson: Bjoern Werner, Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, and John Simon.

In any case here's to hoping the Bengals resign Johnson! At the very least, we can rest easy knowing one side of the line will be held down by Carlos Dunlap.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:37 PM
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bengals Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

Tank Carradine tore his ACL which is a shame for a local kid having a breakout year. I'm sure someone will take a chance as a mid to late pick.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

To the OP, well written and thought out post.


However, I don't see the Bengals not re-signing Michael Johnson. Even in games that he produces little in terms of stats, he never gets "owned" by the LTs he faces game after game.

I do believe in keeping the cupboard stocked, regardless of who is on the roster. John Simon would be a great pick in the 4th-5th round. He's abnormally strong, very athletic, and with his frame, will likely bulk up another 15-20 over the next couple years. He would be the perfect backup DE/DT type that everyone said was missing after Fanene and Rucker were gone.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevbo37 View Post
In my opinion the best first-round options include:
  • Bjoern Werner, Florida State, 6'4" 255 pounds, 13 sacks


Guys with a late-first to early-second-round grades include:
  • Cornellius Carradine, Florida State, 6'5" 265 pounds, 11 sacks


Guys with solid second-round grades include:
Shoulda made it an FSU trifecta and added DE Brandon Jenkins, 6'3" 260 pounds, 21.5 sacks in 2 years and 33.5 TFL
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

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Originally Posted by BBlesmiley View Post
Tank Carradine tore his ACL which is a shame for a local kid having a breakout year. I'm sure someone will take a chance as a mid to late pick.
Yea, due to ACL injury, Carradine has been dropped down to 3-4 range. If he's available when we pick in the fourth and we haven't yet addressed DE, ya gotta risk him.

As for what to do if MJ leaves...draft a DE within the first two rounds. Heck, a DE should be highly considered within the first four rounds regardless, as we only have Anderson and Dunlap on the payroll for sure next year. Even if we re-sign MJ, we still need another key contributor at DE.

Last edited by OchoCincos; 12-04-2012 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

I think we inevitably re-sign Michael Johnson. Everyone within the organization (from the top down) and in the fan-base knows how big Michael Johnson has been this year, even if his numbers are padded by Geno. He needs to stay here and help this defense become a top ranked defense in the league.

With that being said, DE needs to be one of our first picks because one more top ranked DE on this defensive line would be a GIANT game changer.

Sam Montgomery continues to fall on the boards and if he is there when we pick in the first round, they BETTER grab his ***. He is a big boy, who is fast and can get to the QB. He plays on one of the best defenses in the SEC.

Alex Okafor is a player.....and he will most likely be there when we pick in the first and possibly in the second. I would snag him in a second. Great numbers, big boy and plays for a NFL ready stacked defense (which just so happens to not be very good)

Ezekiel Ansah is a name that has been brought up all over this board. I do not know very much about him bc I dont watch BYU and I really have not watched film or researched him much. But almost everyone on the board really likes the kid so I will jump on that bandwagon.

John Simon is another player.....has a BIG TIME MOTOR. For Urban Meyer to come out and say he is the greatest person he has ever met, including Tim Tebow, is a statement in and of itself. He is a beast. Big boy. He is only 6'2" though so I dont know if that will hurt him in the long run. I wouldnt mind seeing Simon in bengal stripes at all. Ive seen him mocked in the second and third rounds so he may be gone by the time we pick in the third.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

If we lose MJ we pretty much have to take two DEs early. Its rare for a rookie DE to come in and tear it up. Aside from trading our first and second round pick to the Raiders for Carson Palmer not bringing MJ back is about the worst move we could make this offseason.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

There's no way he doesn't get re-signed in my opinion. This guy played 728 snaps last year, and probably a lot more than that this year. Who is going to fill that role? No one on the roster right now could do it. Even if we drafted someone, they can't be thrown into the mix at 728 snaps/year.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:04 AM
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bengals Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

He isn't going anywhere so it is a moot point.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

Re-signing Johnson makes sense, unless he is chasing crazy money. I am even okay with over paying a bit, since it keeps the unit and chemistry together as well as removes the perceived need of an early round DE being drafted. Consider what the Bengals have invested in Johnson, and the assumed contract. Then consider the contract a first round DE would net, as well as the bust potential attached to DE's drafted in the first.


What is their success rate in the NFL? Maybe 35%? What is the percentage of DE's that can produce like MJ currently is producing? Far less than the original 35%.


Maybe MJ is onlyputting up these numbers as a result of being on the line with Dunlap and Atkin. This is only a big deal if the Bengals don't plan on paying those two guys when it's their turn atthe table. Otherwise, you pay Johnson for his contribution, and if you're really concerned, you add in performance markers.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibengals View Post
There's no way he doesn't get re-signed in my opinion. This guy played 728 snaps last year, and probably a lot more than that this year. Who is going to fill that role? No one on the roster right now could do it. Even if we drafted someone, they can't be thrown into the mix at 728 snaps/year.
His ability to stay on the field is his biggest asset. Many complain that he isn't the most explosive end ever, and we could draft a better end, but someone else touched on a good point.

Even if we roll the dice and win (low percentage chance), that guy isn't playing the snaps MJ is. Dunlap is the feast-or-famine end to worry about; while not flashy enough, MJ is a rock.

We do need to draft an end, though. a second round prospect or later is best for the rotation. That could probably help MJ stay fresh to be a bigger impact.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

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Originally Posted by TGISunday View Post
His ability to stay on the field is his biggest asset. Many complain that he isn't the most explosive end ever, and we could draft a better end, but someone else touched on a good point.

Even if we roll the dice and win (low percentage chance), that guy isn't playing the snaps MJ is. Dunlap is the feast-or-famine end to worry about; while not flashy enough, MJ is a rock.

We do need to draft an end, though. a second round prospect or later is best for the rotation. That could probably help MJ stay fresh to be a bigger impact.
Yup, wouldn't be too farfetched to see Dunlap explode his contract year and us not have the cap room to sign him to a big contract with Johnson+Atkins getting big money. Extend Johnson AND draft a DE.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

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Originally Posted by SunsetBengal View Post
To the OP, well written and thought out post.


However, I don't see the Bengals not re-signing Michael Johnson. Even in games that he produces little in terms of stats, he never gets "owned" by the LTs he faces game after game.

I do believe in keeping the cupboard stocked, regardless of who is on the roster. John Simon would be a great pick in the 4th-5th round. He's abnormally strong, very athletic, and with his frame, will likely bulk up another 15-20 over the next couple years. He would be the perfect backup DE/DT type that everyone said was missing after Fanene and Rucker were gone.
Honestly, I like your assessment, but you have to ask yourself what if we have a different defensive coordinator next year.

I wouldn't downplay the changes that could be made with a different coordinator. May be minimal effect, but I don't understand how the man is not resigned now. You have to believe his agent believes he can get more money than we are going to give him.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:52 PM
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bengals Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

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Originally Posted by OSUfan View Post
He isn't going anywhere so it is a moot point.
I Hope your right man...i love the guy and i think keeping our dline together is huge for us...would like to draft a rush linebacker type tho to heklp out in the rotation.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: If Michael Johnson leaves via free agency?

Gotta keep MJ if possible obviously. Zimmer finally figures out where he should have been playing the entire time and he has his best season thus far.
That being said there is a decent crop of young pass rushers in this draft.
The 3 FSU kids,Moore,Monte,Hunt,Simon, and others already listed.
It's a tough call really, to me it's gonna come down to MJ and Andre.Probably gonna lose one of them.
At the current moment my line of thinking is try to sign both but if it comes down to one or the other I let Dre walk and sign MJ.
Draft Barret Jones to play RT (Don't even try to tell me that he can't.He's 6'5" and weighs 311 right now) Played LT in the SEC two seasons ago and has played every o-line position that Saben has asked of him. There's a reason for that.It's because he has a 4.0 GPA and is the nations top scholar football player.
Anyways you grab Jones plug him in at RT for the time being and the team can still grab another awesome pass rusher.
You sign these guys at rookie slotted contracts and use Dre's millions to sign these guy's plus a couple of other good players.
Would love to have Dre back but if they both want diva money then somebody's gotta go.
I'm pretty positive that Geno will be staying.
Just one take anyways or possible scenario anyways.

Last edited by coachmcneil71; 12-17-2012 at 12:55 AM.
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