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Geno Atkins Saying Ending His Career with the Bengals is Important

Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins has never hit the open market, but he plans to keep it that way, Katherine Terrell of ESPN reports.

Atkins, 30, signed a four-year contract extension on Tuesday that could keep him in Cincinnati into retirement if he doesn’t play past age 34. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the $16.3 million yearly average is the highest given to a non-quarterback who is 30 or older.

“They were the team that drafted me. I love it here. I love the city. I love the organization,” Atkins said. “It’s something to cement my legacy here, and I think that’s important to finish where I started. We’ve got unfinished business, this whole team, and me and ‘Los are trying to bring a Super Bowl to Cincinnati.”

Atkins, who rarely does interviews, hasn’t discussed his contract publicly prior to this week, only to say it shows the franchise “takes care of its own.”

“I mean honestly, you do it the right away, show up, go to OTAs, training camp, do all the stuff. Don’t make big hoopla or talk to the media about it,” he said of his approach.

Atkins, with 61 career sacks, is second behind only defensive end Carlos Dunlap in all-time sacks for the Bengals. Dunlap, who has 64.5 career sacks, received a three-year, $45 million extension on Tuesday.

Atkins said the entire process has been “business as usual,” although he feels it’s important to finish his career in Cincinnati, whenever that may be.

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