During our latest Google Hangout chat, we talked about free agency for the Cincinnati Bengals when approaching the question if the Bengals can sign Andre Smith and Michael Johnson, both of whom will enter March as unrestricted free agents, to long-term deals. For my money Johnson, who likes Cincinnati, likes his teammates and coaches, will be far less difficult to re-sign compared to Smith. That being the case, along with possible extensions with someone like Geno Atkins, the Bengals may use the franchise tag on Smith in 2013, which could be his last season in Cincinnati.

His last?

The Bengals rarely sign someone to a long-term deal after using the franchise tag.

The last was Rudi Johnson, who was franchised with a $6.3 million tag. Yet Johnson didn't play under the franchise tag because within a month, the team signed the running back to a five-year deal worth $26 million and $12 million guaranteed. Before that it was wide receiver Carl Pickens in 1999, who vowed never to play of the Bengals if he was franchised. After signing the one-year tender and playing in 1999, the Bengals signed Pickens to a five-year deal worth $23 million in 2000. Unfortunately the Bengals were forced to terminate the contract after an agreement with the NFLPA was struck -- who had filed suit against the Bengals, Packers and Cardinals for improper use of the franchise