CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals have signed All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins to a rich five-year contract extension that reportedly will raise his 2013 pay from $1.4 million to $22 million.
The Bengals did not announce how much they paid to lock up Atkins through 2018, but ESPN reported it's $55 million. That would be the second-biggest extension for a defensive tackle in NFL history. Baltimore's Haloti Ngata signed a five-year, $61 million extension in 2011, ESPN said.
The contract will pay Atkins $36 million in new money over the first three years of the extension, ESPN said, citing a league source.
Atkins tweeted Monday: "Can't thank The Lord enough for blessing me to sign a contract extension with the Cincinnati Bengals on this Labor Day."
The Bengals did say they have spent more than $180 million since the end of last season keeping their team intact. Atkins is the 12th Bengals player to get either a new contract or an extension.
Atkins, a fourth-round pick from Georgia in 2010, was entering the final year on his original deal. He made the Pro Bowl each of the last two seasons. Atkins had 12 1/2 sacks last season, the most by any interior lineman in the NFL. He has played in every game since joining the Bengals.
The Bengals have reached the playoffs each of the last two seasons as a wild card, only to lose to Houston in the first round.
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