With the start of free agency now three weeks away, it's time for NFL teams to begin shedding salaries in order to get further under the salary cap.
According to Over The Cap, the Bengals are sitting at about $23 million in estimated cap space. That's a pretty good amount of space to work with, but it may only be enough to re-sign Anthony Collins and a few lower-tier free agents like Vinny Rey and Brandon Tate.
If the Bengals want to do a new deal with A.J. Green and/or Vontaze Burfict though, they may need to shed some of their current salaries. When asked who he thought could be a cap casualty this offseason, Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer said defensive end Robert Geathers is a name to watch for based on how he rehabs from triceps surgery.
The veteran end’s 2013 season was cut short after he suffered a torn right triceps muscle in Week 2 vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he had season-ending surgery soon after that. He also had arthroscopic surgery on his knee prior to the 2012 season,
A knee injury requiring surgery ended his season in late 2008, but he returned in 2009 and played in 52 of the next 55 games before his latest injury. It may be safe to say the wear and tear his bodies gone through might be too much for the Bengals to keep him at his current salary.
It makes perfect sense, as the Bengals would save $2.7 million if they cut him. After tearing his ACL in Week last year, Geathers may not even be ready for training camp. Plus, he'll enter the 2014 season at 31-years-old, so it's hard to see him producing at a level that deserves that kind of salary.
Even before his injury, you can't say Geather's production warranted him to be paid that much anyway. In the three seasons prior to 2013, Geathers had a combined 6.5 sacks and 46 tackles.
The problem with cutting him though is that the team is already expected to lose defensive end Michael Johnson in free agency, so you'd be losing a starter and key backup in the same offseason by releasing him.