Atkins is considered one of the finest defensive tackles in the game and he was named an All-Pro in each of the past two seasons. Atkins had 12.5 sacks for the Bengals as a pass rusher up the middle last season, a rare commodity that gives the Bengals a dynamic point of attack along the defensive front.
Haloti Ngata received a five-year, $48.5 million extension from the Baltimore Ravens back in 2011 and Atkins has now set the bar even higher for other defensive tackles. The agents for players like Randy Starks of the Miami Dolphins and Henry Melton of the Chicago Bears are taking notes with the news of Atkins' deal.
This extension has been a long time coming, but was not always certain to happen.
The Bengals and Atkins were talking earlier this offseason, but nothing came of the conversations before training camp. Things then seemed to come to a complete halt a few weeks ago when the sides were seemingly ready to head into the regular season with Atkins on a one-year deal. Then, all of a sudden, things turned and Atkins is now set to be a Bengal for the future.