The deadline that was set for 4pm E.T. for teams who were looking to sign their franchise tagged players to long term deals has passed. Two young defensive players are now signed under their 1 year tender which they signed earlier this year.
Henry Melton a defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears and Michael Johnson a defensive end for the Cincinnati Bengals are two of the top young defensive players who were left without a long term deal before the deadline. Melton signed his 1 year franchise worth around $8.8 million around March, in hopes of seeking a 5 year deal. The young defensive tackle out of the University of Texas, has been a key member of this defense ever since he was drafted. His break out year was this past season where he was selected to his first pro bowl by a large margin of votes.
He picked up 44 tackles, 6 sacks and 2 forced fumbles with 44 tackles being a career high. One of the best defensive tackles in the league, he should get the deal he is looking for next off-season, hopefully with the Chicago Bears.
Now as for Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson, he will make around $11.175 million this season under his franchise tag in hopes of finding that long team deal next season. Just like the Chicago Bear’s Henry Melton, Johnson’s 2012 season was his personal best. He picked up 52 tackles, 11.5 sacks and an interception but failed to make the pro bowl for the AFC.
It was reported that the Cincinnati Bengals and the 26 year old defensive end had some communication before the deadline today, but it was too late for both sides to come to agreement on anything long term.
Both players understand and have spoken out on their franchise tags saying ‘It’s a business’ or some comments/tweets along that line. So now that both teams have failed to sign their respected defensive players, Michael Johnson and Henry Melton are both in great position to do business next off-season as teams will look to steal them away.