CINCINNATI -- The reality of the NFL is that teams can't always keep all the players they want. The economics of the league's salary cap don't allow for it, instead forcing teams to constantly overturn rosters with a greater mixture of youth to its veteran core.
Case in point when the Bengals lost defensive end Michael Johnson to Tampa Bay in free agency this offseason. It was inevitable. It was something the Bengals had been planning for after paying Johnson more than $11 million last season as their franchise player. It's why they chose Margus Hunt last year in the second round.
It's why they took West Virginia defensive end Will Clarke in the third round Friday night.
Clarke physically resembles Johnson, and a lot of the other Bengals defensive ends; he's tall (6-feet-6) and has a long arm reach. The defensive line for the Bengals has been the foundation of the overall unit's success the last six years under former defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
That's not going to change und...