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Potential Bengals 2015 salary cap casualties: Domata Peko

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This offseason there are a couple of contracts that the Cincinnati Bengals should take a look at, mostly to compare cost with production. Here, we take a look at defensive tackle Domata Peko.

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

2015 Salary: $2 million
2015 Cap Number: $3.7 million
Dead Money if Released: $0

Peko will incorporate a $3.7 million cap hit with no dead money associated to his contract if he's released. Cincinnati will literally save the entirety of Peko's cap number due to the roster bonuses that have been drawn into his contract with the only guaranteed number being that of his 2014 roster bonus of $4.4 million, of which has already been paid.

Because of his position as a one-technique defensive tackle, Peko's strengths are not the numbers that garner so much attention from others. There are few quarterback sacks for Peko (who's a two-down tackle that plays a majority of his snaps on first and second down), and tackles tend to be a luxury for a player whose primary responsibility is to clog the A-gap. Unfortunately he gets tagged with double teams during rushing plays, providing an inaccurate description of ineffectiveness... largely because people are insanely obsessed with fantasy football statistics.

In addition to that, Cincinnati benefits greatly by Peko's leadership qualities. He and Andrew Whitworth brought the team together during the owner's lockout in 2011, leading practices. And when that wasn't happening, he encouraged defensive players to join him for offseason workouts.

That being said, a $3.7 million cap number is a bit much for a player that's mandated with a clog-the-lane role, which seems to us, a very replaceable job description. If the Bengals could use the savings, releasing Peko would provide that. It just so happens that the Bengals have lots and lots of money against the cap with limited worry that they'll be nudged against it this year. In other words, if you're suggesting that the Bengals should move on from Peko then money isn't your argument. It's ineffectiveness. And that argument holds weight.