As we approach the three week mark in the new league year, it is appropriate to look back and reflect on all the chaotic and high-paced action we've witnessed so far. From the thrilling depth re-signings on the defensive line to the nail-biting anticipation of adding a backup quarterback, it's been one hell of a ride.
In case your sarcasm sensors haven't exploded from the Larry David-esque levels of irony and understatement in those last couple of sentences, I'll lend you a helping hand at deciphering the meaning. Despite their mounds of cap space, the Bengals have opted to follow a slow and steady approach to free agency. Instead of looking outward, they've turned their attention inward, re-signing their own key players while gearing up for the draft. It's not an approach that typically grabs headlines, but it is one that fosters consistency and solid depth.
Even so, you can only do so much depth-building before you are forced to splurge a little to meet the minimum cap floor. And that is exactly what the team has in mind over the next year.
According to Geoff Hobson and Joe Reedy, the Bengals plan to roll over $10 million of 2013 cap space into 2014, allowing them a bit more breathing room to shell out monster contracts to star players like Geno Atkins. The Enquirer's Reedy had previously mentioned that the Bengals would likely proceed with the roll over "barring anything unforeseen." Hobson also estimates that the team has already spent about "$33-34 million" thus far, so "they're not looking to do much beyond getting deals for right tackle Andre Smith and cornerback Terence Newman." But fear not, frustrated Bengals fans. That doesn't mean they will be completely done signing other players, it just means they won't be looking to spend major money on any new additions. Hobson still expects them to kick the tires on some free agent linebackers and safeties before it's all said and done.
With the news that the Bengals plan on using the summer months to begin negotiating contract extensions for players like the aforementioned Geno Atkins and his fellow line-mate Carlos Dunlap, it appears as though the team is setting the stage for big things in the near future.