Here's the thing about salary cap information. It's impossible to feel certain when dealing with inconsistent numbers because something as minor as a roster bonus upsets the overall balance and if the details of a contract are not made public. Then it makes those calculations that much more difficult and cascades into misinformation as other contracts are either incorrectly published or missing critical information. It's one of the reasons why we, long ago, abandoned the task of tracking this information because we were never comfortable promoting something that may lack the details necessary for accuracy.
So we just rely on others to present similar misinformation, through sources often claiming to be from the league office.
According to Pro Football Talk, the Cincinnati Bengals currently have $10.2 million with $8.5 million being carried over into 2013. As we understand it, that's the current number right now, which dramatically changes in 2013 when contracts for Robert Geathers, Andre Smith, Thomas Howard, Manny Lawson, Rey Maualuga and roughly 20 players, expire. Plus existing contracts will have variable changes against the cap -- largely in relation to workout, roster bonuses as well as the fluctuating base salary.
ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton also wrote in early January that the Bengals are carrying over $8.5 million from 2012, but factored a projected cap space of $55.1 million, adding the expiring contracts and adjusted cap numbers in 2013.