Now that we've approached the seventh day of free agency, we're starting to get an idea of how much money will be applied to the 2009 salary cap. Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson estimates that the Bengals applied $15 million against the cap. It's been reported that the team was between $28-29 million under the cap before the start of free agency.
Roughly (only because these numbers aren't firm), the Bengals are likely nearing around $13 million left against the cap. Likely, the team needs to put aside roughly $10 million for rookies and injuries, leaving the Bengals with a slim chance to work out another significant deal.
Signing Shayne Graham long term could alleviate that, but not much. Trading Chad Johnson could, but again, not much. The dead money, a hit against the cap, would be $4.865 million. He's scheduled to make $4.5 million this year, along with the potential cap hit, which would likely be around the dead money figure if he's traded. In other words, the savings against the cap could be minimal, yet it could be roughly $2 million since his cap hit last year was over $6 million.
There's some contradiction going on about the signing of backup quarterback, J.T. O'Sullivan. ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli reported on Thursday that a two-year deal was reached. However, the team has yet to announce the move. The Enquirer's Joe Reedy writes, "Negotiations with quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan continue even though ESPN reported that a two-year agreement has been reached." Of the local media that have also published that an agreement was made, references the ESPN piece.
How much did Carson Palmer influence Laveranues Coles to Cincinnati?
"I think he had a great deal to do with it," Coles said. "Anytime a quarterback of his caliber takes his time out to give you a call and lets you know how important he feels it would be to come to a team he plays for, I felt that was something great. I felt it was something I needed to take a close look at."
Is Lewis taking parting shots at T.J. Houshmandzadeh?
Lewis cited Coles' average yards per catch (12.1) as a determining factor in signing him. Last season with the Jets, Coles had 70 receptions for 850 yards and seven touchdowns.
"That's where we needed to improve," Lewis said. "We were looking to do that regardless of some other people who were here in the past (Houshmandzadeh averaged 9.8 last season). We needed to get better and we got better with Laveranues in that area."
The swipes at Houshmandzadeh didn't end there. Lewis cited Coles' toughness, mentioning that he pulled a quad muscle last year during the preseason and didn't miss a practice. Houshmandzadeh was limited during training camp last year with the same type of injury.
UNLV running back Frank Summers had reportedly an impressive day at the school's pro day.
Best of the 2009 NFL Combine.