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LB Brandon Johnson “Kind Of” Enjoying Time Off

Count Bengals linebacker Brandon Johnson as one of the players who is enjoying the additional time off the lockout has provided.

“I wouldn’t say nervous. I’m actually kind of enjoying my time off,” Johnson told Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I get a lot of family time in, I get to kick it with my friends, get do a lot of traveling. I don’t have to spend eight hours at the Stadium.

“I mean, I’m enjoying myself. We’ve always been complaining that the offseason is way too short, well here we have it. Now we have the longest offseason in NFL history so I’m enjoying it really.”

A fifth-round pick in 2006 by the Arizona Cardinals out of Louisville, Johnson has spent the last three seasons with the Bengals, where he’s recorded 179 tackles, 3.5 quarterback sacks, and three interceptions in 48 games, 15 of which he’s started. Johnson tied for the Bengals’ team lead with 11 special teams tackles in 2009, earning himself a “Second Round” restricted free agent tender when denied unrestricted free agency by the uncapped year, and a special teams captaincy for the 2010 season.

The Bengals once again placed a “Second Round” tender (worth an estimated $1.96 million) on Johnson, who has five accrued seasons and could hit what would be a frenzied free agent market if a new collective bargaining agreement is reached this summer. With the Bengals using several early-to-mid round picks on linebackers in recent drafts, including a 2011 third-round pick on outside linebacker Dontay Moch, Johnson might be hard-pressed to return to the Bengals at a nearly $2 million salary in what might a capped 2011 season.

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