Luckily for the Bengals, they have plenty of room under the salary cap. This will help them re-sign their big-name free agents as well as extend a couple more whose contracts aren't up yet. That will (hopefully) keep guys like Geno Atkins, Michael Johnson and Andre Smith in stripes, as well as some others.
There are some teams, though, that aren't as fortunate. The Steelers, Ravens, Cowboys, Packers, Giants and several others are in situations where they'll have to possibly let go of some of their big-name players, who have big contracts, in order to be in compliance with the salary cap. Could the Bengals possibly take advantage of this? They haven't been the sort of team to sign top free agents in the past and they do have to spend quite a bit of money on their own players as well.
Before we decide whether or not the Bengals will, or will not, sign big-name players, let's take a look at some of the players that may be available.
The Bengals may be satisfied with a combination of Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones, but they may look elsewhere for a receiver to take attention away from A.J. Green. If that's the case, here are some of the guys that could be cap casualties:
- Darius Heyward-Bey
- Anquan Boldin
- Jacoby Jones
The Bengals are looking for a back to complement BenJarvus Green-Ellis and they'll probably look to the draft to do so, but just in cast they're in the market for a free-agent back for the second year in a row, here are the two that could be available:
- Michael Turner
- DeAngelo Williams
The Bengals have added a couple free agents to the defensive line over the past few years in an attempt to keep the line's rotation deep and talented. There are a couple talented linemen that could interest the Bengals.
- Tyson Jackson
- Will Smith
- Chris Canty
- Ryan Pickett
- Jay Ratliff
Linebacker may be one of the biggest needs on the team. The three linebackers that started just a year ago are all going to be free agents and they may be looking to bring in some new talent.
- Bart Scott
- James Harrison
- Calvin Pace
- Rolando McClain
And then there's cornerback. The Bengals have Leon Hall and an unproven second-year player in Dre Kirkpatrick, but Adam Jones and Terence Newman are going to be free agents.
- Champ Bailey
- Charles Woodson
- Dunta Robinson
- Eric Wright
I wouldn't bet on the Bengals grabbing any of these players, even if they become available on the free agent market. A Bengals fan can dream, though.
Oh.... one more thing. Former Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, who's expecting $13 million as a base salary in 2013, is labeled as a possible cap casualty. So there's a decent chance Bengals fans could see Palmer looking for work soon.