Atkins is regarded as one of the best defensive lineman in the game and has picked up 23 sacks in his first 48 NFL games after being drafted 120th overall in the 2010 Draft.
The 25-year-old told reporters: "It means a lot, just that they believed in me. It shows young guys that do the right things on and off the field, and you will be rewarded, too.
"Now I can just kinda focus on football. I'm happy to play football and help the team go to the Super Bowl."
Cincinnati face the Chicago Bears in their season opener on Sunday.