CBS' Jason La Canfora reports the Bengals "have indicated" they will use the franchise tag on free agent RE Michael Johnson.
NFL.com has confirmed the report. With a reported $54 million in cap space, the Bengals can easily afford the $11.2 million price tag. Bengals.com reported earlier in the week there was "not much traction" in long-term talks with Johnson, so the Bengals will now shift their attention to locking up free agent RT Andre Smith. Coming off a breakout season where he tallied 11.5 sacks, Johnson would have commanded a pretty penny on the open market.