HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Geno Atkins #97 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after he sacked T.J. Yates #13 of the Houston Texans in the first half during their 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
The Cincinnati Bengals have $19.08 million available under the salary cap, according to a series of tweets by Aaron Wilson. It ranks as the second-most in the NFL right now, with the Jacksonville Jaguars leading the league with $19.319 million under the cap. At last report earlier this month the Bengals led the NFL with $20.497 million, a handful of change more than the Jaguars. Since then the Bengals signed Terence Newman, Donald Lee and Dan Skuta to one-year deals.
It's largely believed (and should be accepted) that the money available doesn't necessarily promote an owner unwilling to spend (though history counters that argument), rather the understanding that extensions for core players approaches. Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap will likely receive healthy raises before their current deals expire after the 2013 season. Furthermore players like Thomas Howard, Manny Lawson, Pat Sims, Mike Nugent, Kevin Huber, every running back save for BenJarvus Green Ellis and every quarterback not named Andy Dalton are entering the final year of their existing contracts.
And a year after that? Extensions will become the focus for quarterback Andy Dalton and A.J. Green.