Report: Bengals, Geno Atkins not close to an extension

We reported last week that the Bengals and defensive tackle Geno Atkins are working on a contract extension.

According to the National Football Post,  the Bengals and Atkins’ agents aren’t close to getting a new deal done.

Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who is entering the final season of his rookie contract, met for an extended time with Atlanta-based agents Pat Dye Jr. and Bill Johnson last week, when Cincinnati conducted mixed practices with the Falcons in advance of the teams’ preseason game. But the confab was mostly just touching base, not a detailed rehashing of the team’s desire to reach a contract extension with the two-time Pro Bowl tackle. Perhaps a deal gets done – the agents have a good relationship with the Bengals, cut an extension for offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth not that long ago, and the two sides have had cursory discussions – but there is still a ways to go before ink meets paper. A fourth-rounder in 2010, Atkins has dramatically outplayed his rookie contract, will pocket $1.423 million this year thanks to an escalator he’s met, and has a bargain cap number of just $1.54 million. But tackles who can rush the quarterback the way Atkins can – his 12.5 sacks in ’12 weren’t just the most by any inside defender in the league but also the most by a pure tackle since La’Roi Glover in 2000 – are gold. It’s going to take a huge deal, maybe a record deal for a tackle, to get Atkins to jump at an extension.

The Bengals and Atkins’ reps have plenty of time to get a deal done.  I’m sure they won’t let him become a free agent in March.