The Jacksonville Jaguars didn't spend $31 million of cap room in 2011, so they now have $45 million of room. The Kansas City Chiefs have $62.995 million after budgeting $24.014 million from the 2011 season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, thanks to $23.519 million of carryover cap money, have the second-most cap space with $60.496 million. The Cincinnati Bengals moved over $15 million from last year and have $60 million to spend. Dan Snyder of the Washington Redskins has plenty of room to get quarterback and receiver help, thanks to $47.56 million of cap space. The 2011 playoff teams in good shape are the Denver Broncos ($50.735 million of cap room), San Francisco 49ers ($39.33 million), Atlanta Falcons ($30.6 million) and New England Patriots ($20 million). To get to the $50 million mark, the Broncos carried over $26 million of unused cap.
One of the great things about the latest collective bargaining agreements is that teams are able to carry over the cap space from one year to the next. The Bengals brought over exactly $17.59 million from the 2011 season, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, which gives them just over $60 million to spend, if they're so inclined.
The new CBA also says that there is a new minimum spending limit, but that doesn't go into effect until the 2013 season, which means if Mike Brown wants to sit on the majority of this money, he technically could. However, this amount of spendable cash couldn't have come at a better time. The Bengals have two first-round picks to use to fill the holes they have on their roster but there are too many holes to fill. If they could draft a safety, cornerback, wide receiver, running back and guard in the first round, everything would be great, but that's not going to happen.
That's where the money comes in. I'm not saying they should spend all of their money and then go to the bank, take out a loan and spend that money too, but bringing in a handful of free agents that can start for the team could go from making them a good team to a great team in a hurry.
Free agency opens on March 13 and the Bengals will not only need to re-sign a few of their own players but they will need to go after a handful of players that will hit the open market. Some of the players that the Bengals could really use -- guards like Carl Nicks or Ben Grubbs, cornerbacks like Brandon Carr or Carlos Rogers, or maybe even Mario Williams -- may cost a lot of money. Luckily the Bengals have the money to spend.
Now we just have to hope they spend it.