As reported yesterday, the Cincinnati Bengals have the most cap room in the NFL--$49.9 million. Part of that $49.9 million is, as allowed by the new CBA, a $15 million carry over from unused cap space in 2011. NBC Sports reports that the Bengals' $15 million carry over is the 9th most in the NFL, with the Jacksonville Jaguars carrying over the most with $31 million, and the Houston Texans and San Diego Chargers carrying over the least, with $0.
Much has been made of Cincinnati's available cap room and the logistics of free agency, given the number of team needs and available players, but whether the $49.9 million will be properly utilized remains a major concern. A slight trend is noticeable within the carry over list: the better the team, the less money carried over. Of the twelve playoff teams, only the surprising Bengals, 49ers, and Broncos carried over more than $7 million, opposed to the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants who carried over only $1 million.
Then again, the Panthers, Colts, and Vikings all carried over less than $3 million, so there is no definite pattern. But if success is at least partly based on filling out cap room, then fully utilizing Cincinnati's $49.9 million is even that much more logical. Are you listening Ben Grubbs, Carl Nicks, and Brandon Carr?