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Bengals Notes: Michael Johnson & Andre Smith

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Bengals HC Marvin Lewis hasn’t decided whether or not to use their franchise tag in the coming weeks.

We’re going to continue to try to negotiate with our players, guys coming into their productive years,” said Lewis.

Albert Breer reports that there’s “not much traction” between the the Bengals and impending free agent DE Michael Johnson regarding a long-term contract extension.

Breer adds that Johnson is the guy to watch in regards to the Bengals’ franchise tag.

Andre Smith is other candidate for the designation, but Johnson could end up being the more sought after free agent of the two. Cincinnati has plenty of cap space to work with this offseason, so there’s actually a decent enough chance that they could sign one of them and franchise other with the intention of working on a long-term deal before the start of the 2013 season.

We have Smith and Johnson listed as the No. 11 and No. 15 best available players in our Top 50 Free Agents list.

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