MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 16: NFL owners John Mara (L) of the New York Giants and Mike Brown of the Cincinnati Bengals leave court-ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 16, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners that followed a breakdown of labor talks between the two in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
According to NFL Insider Adam Caplan, the Cincinnati Bengals are currently $19.1 million under the 2012 salary cap -- which ranks third behind the Philadelphia Eagles ($21.5 million) and the Jacksonville Jaguars ($19.4 million). This is roughly the same number that the Bengals had listed under the cap in mid-April. The biggest shift is that the Eagles surged to the top of the list, holding a commanding $2 million lead (thanks to the Asante Samuel trade).
We wrote late Monday night that the Bengals received a year-one rookie compensation pool of $6.88 million and $37.87 million in total rookie compensation. Using that this year would likely reduce Cincinnati's available salary cap space in 2012 to below $13 million, where additional money will be set aside for extensions as well as injuries that the team will incur throughout the season. Additionally we don't think that the Bengals are finished signing veteran players -- especially with positions involving special teams or needing depth help.