The Cincinnati Bengals are 6-2 this year, coming off a thorough drubbing of the New York Jets on Sunday, which nudged Cincinnati's offense (9th) and their defense (8th) into the top-ten in the NFL. And this is coming off an offseason in which the Bengals re-committed to keeping their own with long-term extensions for Geno Atkins, Andre Smith and Carlos Dunlap.
Things really couldn't be much better in Cincinnati right now.
Not only have the Bengals built a foundation of talented players, they've learned to win win by claiming 13 of the past 16 regular season games, dating back to the midseason point last year.
Cincinnati currently has $8.5 million available under the cap, currently the eighth-most in the NFL. According to Albert Breer with the NFL Network, the Bengals are one of five teams with a winning record and over $5 million in cap space, joining the Carolina Panthers ($11.9 million), Green Bay Packers ($10.2 million), Denver Broncos ($6.7 million) and the New England Patriots ($5.9 million).
Cincinnati had as much as $28.9 million available dating back to late March, but those extensions for Smith, Dunlap and Atkins account for a combined $20 million cap hit this year (per Spotrac). The Bengals have also budgeted an estimated $10 million for use in contract extensions with quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green when they're eligible to negotiate during the next offseason.