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Handful of Bengals Players Get Pay Raises From 2014 Performances

Some Bengals players recently received a pay raise due to their respective performances in 2014. The pay increases coincide with these players receiving increased playing time than originally expected.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 season for the Cincinnati Bengals was littered with injuries on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately for the team, some of those who missed significant time were high-caliber players. While their backups did an adequate job filling in, their vacancies were felt throughout the season.

A recent report from Coley Harvey at ESPN notes that a handful of Bengals are getting pay raises because of increased playing time and reaching statistical escalators that were embedded in their contracts. The benefactors of these raises are wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, cornerback/returner Adam Jones, safety George Iloka and linebacker Vincent Rey.Sanu and Rey were pressed into more action than expected because of injuries to A.J. Green and Vontaze Burfict, while Jones had an increase because of added return duties.

Per Harvey, Sanu and Iloka fell into some of the new stipulations in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was ratified in 2011.

Among those receiving modest bumps were receiver Mohamed Sanu and George Iloka, two players who were eligible for raises because of the league's latest collective bargaining agreement. The CBA stipulates that players drafted in Rounds 3-7 in 2012 (Sanu was a third-round selection; Iloka was a fifth) can receive raises of close to $1 million this offseason if they played 35 percent of the offensive or defensive snaps in two of the last three years.

As a result, Sanu's salary for 2015 moved up from $680,000 to about $1.6 million. Iloka's moved from $660,000 to that same approximate $1.6 million figure.

Sanu set career bests in receptions (54), receiving yards (790) and receiving touchdowns (5) and 100-yard receiving games (2) in 2014. The third-year receiver had a solid first 11 games, but his production really tapered off in the final six contests (including the playoff loss to the Colts). In those final games of the season, Sanu never had more than three catches or 31 receiving yards in a game, as well as failing to get into the end zone.

Iloka had a solid season throughout the year and looks to be a promising safety for the team in 2015. He had 74 total tackles and three interceptions in 2014, while pairing up with Reggie Nelson as a solid safety tandem. Rey led the team in tackles with 121 while relieving both Burfict and Rey Maualuga at times throughout the year. He's a dependable backup and special teams player, but most believe that he is best suited as rotational player on defense at most.