The top offseason priority for the Bengals will be re-signing defensive tackle Geno Atkins and defensive end Carlos Dunlap to contract extensions according to Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
While the team needs to upgrade their offensive line drastically and has other needs if they hope to return to the playoffs in 2018, they have to keep their effective defensive nucleus intact. 2018 will be the final year of a five-year, $53 million extension Atkins signed in 2013. The All-Pro has easily lived up to that deal, and he remained one of the best defenders in the league in 2017. His age — he turns 30 in March — could depress his value somewhat, but Atkins should be looking for at least $14 million a year on his next deal.
Dunlap is in the same situation. They also hope to extend DT Geno Atkins this offseason. With at least 7.5 sacks each of the last five seasons, Dunlap has been something of a value on the five-year, $39 million extension he signed in 2013, so he will likely be looking for a raise. The former second-round pick out of Florida will turn 29 at the end of February.
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