Money. The Cincinnati Bengals are showering with so much much available under the projected salary cap that they could sign every free agent this year with enough remaining for the rookie pool. Some Bengals fans will actually expect it, though we're applying a good-hearted laugh.
As has been promoted this offseason, the Cincinnati Bengals aren't expected to be heavy spenders during free agency. And Marvin Lewis may have provided the biggest indication of that this week.
Speaking with Ian Rapoport with the NFL Network, Lewis reiterated that the team's primary concern is re-signing their own players.
Lewis pointed to quarterback Andy Dalton, tight end Jermaine Gresham, Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green and first-team All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins as core players "still coming into their productive years" in the NFL.
"So, we're excited about that," Lewis told Rapoport. "We have to work hard to get those guys signed in the next month and a half, and that's probably what it's going to take."
"I know sometimes, the easy way is to look at it over a one-year period of time, but we have to look at it over a two-, three- or four-year period of time," Lewis added. "The key to continuity is continue to get better."
The Bengals primary focus is re-signing Michael Johnson and Andre Smith, both of whom will be free agents next month.