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Carson Effect On The Bengals Salary Cap

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CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 02: Michael Johnson #93 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates during the 23-20 victory against the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 02: Michael Johnson #93 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates during the 23-20 victory against the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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One aspect of Carson Palmer's trade to the Oakland Raiders which has been largely forgotten is the cap space which is now freed up. The Cincinnati Bengals made sure that they had $11.5 million set aside in case Carson decided to report to camp and they had to pay his 2011 salary. Now that Carson is a Raider, the Bengals essentially have his entire 2011 salary available to extend deals for current players. During the off-season the Bengals extended the contracts for Andrew Whitworth, Leon Hall and Kyle Cook. The Bengals currently have quite a few players whose deals will expire at the end of the 2011 or 2012 seasons. Here are 15 of them.

The following players have deals which expire at the end of this season:

  • Cedric Benson, UFA
  • Andre Caldwell, UFA
  • Jerome Simpson, UFA
  • Bobbie Williams, UFA
  • Pat Sims, UFA
  • Adam Jones, UFA
  • Chris Crocker, UFA
  • Reggie Nelson, UFA
  • Mike Nugent, UFA

The following players have deals which expire at the end of the 2012 season:

  • Bernard Scott, UFA
  • Chris Pressley, RFA
  • Robert Geathers, UFA
  • Michael Johnson, UFA
  • Rey Maualuga, UFA
  • Kevin Huber, UFA

If they use the money freed up by Palmer's trade to extend the contracts of current players, whose contracts should they extend?