The folks over at Business Week have taken a look at every franchise in the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA to determine how well they spend their money. Overall, the Bengals ranked 78th. When ranked solely amongst NFL teams, the Bengals ranked 22nd. Here's how Business week determined their results:
We’ve used payroll data (from USA Today, Basketball-Reference.com, NBC Sports, and NFL.com) to calculate how much teams spent per win over the last five seasons. (For baseball, we also include the first half of the current season.) We then compared every team against league average, producing a total score we call the efficiency index. The median score for every league is zero. The lower the score, the less a team spent for its wins.
This year, Business Week added bonus percentages for "important" wins; in other words, wins that occurred over .500, playoff wins, and championships:
Our scale counts regular season wins once, with a half-win bonus for every win over .500. Playoff wins count for 10 percent of a season; championships for half a season.
Considering these numbers only take into account the last 5 years, the Bengals aren't getting any "bonuses" in the post season category.
(Index source: BusinessWeek.com)