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Tony Pauline stands by source on Carlos Dunlap story

A story surfaced last week that the Bengals could release Carlos Dunlap to free room on the salary cap to re-sign others.

Andy Lyons

We posted on a story last week regarding the confusing perspective that Cincinnati will be forced to cut Carlos Dunlap to re-sign other players. The original note came from Tony Pauline with, who referenced a source.

I’m told the Cincinnati Bengals may have to cut Carlos Dunlap in order to create the salary cap room necessary to sign a number of other highly considered players on their roster about to hit free agency.

As we said in the original posting, it's not that Pauline is saying it. It's his source. After being the subject of vulgar responses, Pauline wrote on Thursday that his source confirmed that there are conversations.

I went back to my source for clarification and was told yes, the organization has in fact had conversations about potentially cutting Carlos Dunlap or at least attempting to restructure his contract. I’m told the way Dunlap’s contract is structured the team has until March 30th to make a decision.

The date inferred contains a $5.7 million roster bonus that Dunlap is due to earn on March 31, 2014. So no. The source didn't mean Robert Geathers or Domata Peko, as we had originally speculated.

We still don't buy that any of this will happen. And if it does, primarily because the Bengals don't want a roster bonus... get ready for a lot of feedback. And honestly, if they can't figure out a way to keep Dunlap and re-sign those same players, then someone needs to lose a job (I know, I know).

Dunlap signed a five-year deal worth $39.37 million last July. With the salary cap projected near or above $132 million, the Bengals have plenty of cap space to keep Dunlap while negotiating long-term deals with others. Even if the Bengals release Dunlap, there's a $6.4 million penalty for releasing him prior to June 1, only saving $2.2 million against the cap.