Bengals’ Dunlap signs extension

While everyone was watching to see if the Cincinnati Bengals would sign Michael Johnson to a long-term contract before the franchise-tag deadline, the team was working on an extension with another defensive end.

The Bengals signed Carlos Dunlap to a six-year deal, the team announced Tuesday morning. A source told FOX Sports that the deal is worth $40 million plus another $4.5 million in escalators. The deal includes $20 million over the first two years.

That’s quite the haul for Dunlap, a former second-round pick who has 20 sacks in three seasons but has never been a full-time starter. In a league where even proven players have a tough time getting paid, Dunlap basically just got a nice advance on his money, seeing as how the Bengals are surely expecting big things from him over the next six seasons.

It remains to be seen how Johnson will handle the news. He’ll make $11.175 million after signing the franchise tag in the spring, but his long-term deal will have to come after this season.

And given the money the team just devoted to Dunlap and will have to give defensive tackle Geno Atkins at some point, Johnson’s deal is more likely to come from a team other than the Bengals, who picked him in the third round in 2009.