The Bengals' two primary goals right now are getting quarterback Andy Dalton and linebacker Vontaze Burfict signed to long-term extensions.
To get an idea of what Dalton's agent might be asking for, Paul Dehner Jr.interviewed former NFL agent Joel Corry about what Dalton and Burfict would command in their next contract. He believes Dalton will command a deal similar to what 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick got.
"It’s going to be hard for (his agent) to take less than $18 million unless Dalton is the engine driving the train and saying, ‘Hey, let’s not try to break the bank on this one. I don’t need every last dollar. I just need to be paid fairly or have a reasonable salary,’ " Corry said. "When you get a guy like that it’s easier to get a deal done."
As for Burfict:
Burfict ranks among the top linebackers in football, which on the open market today would place him in the $9 million per year range, according to Corry.
The Bengals need to get both of them re-signed before the start of the season, and it's debatable as to which is more important. With Burfict being a restricted free agent, Cincinnati can match any offer made for him next year, but that didn't go to well for Cincy when it came to keeping Andrew Hawkins.
They'd most likely match any offer, but whatever offer is made for Burfict will probably involve a contract hat will make life hard for the Bengals to re-sign Dalton and A.J. Green in two years if he they choose to let him play out his fifth-year option in 2015.
Preferably, the Bengals will have at least one player signed to a new deal before the first preseason game in August. That's when they signed Geno Atkins to his new extension last summer.