clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bengals salary cap update and preview for rest of offseason

New, comments

We recap the Bengals' offseason spending and look ahead to the rest of the offseason as much of their remaining $20 million in cap space hopefully gets eaten up through contract extensions for several key guys.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

The NFL offseason is beginning to hit a bit of a dead period as free agency is almost a month old and the NFL draft is inching closer and closer.

This is when teams tend to hunker down and finish building their big boards. It doesn't matter how much you spend in free agency or how many players you sign, as the draft is ultimately where most teams construct the majority of their offseason roster additions.

Once April is here, NFL Draft talk will be in full swing (as if it isn't already) and we'll hear more about who teams are meeting with and who they're interested in.

With that in mind, we're doing a brief recap of the Bengals' activity to this point and how much cap space they currently have.

Free agents who were re-signed or added

Player

Base Salary
(Guaranteed)

Bonuses

Cap
Number

Prorated

Roster

Workout

Other

Adam Jones

$2,300,000
$4,000,000

$666,666

$4,500,000

$200,000

$0

$7,604,166

George Iloka

$1,800,000
$2,000,000

$600,000

$2,500,000

$300,000

$0

$5,075,000

Vincent Rey

$1,000,000
$3,000,000

$0

$3,200,000

$300,000

$0

$4,500,000

Pat Sims

$900,000
$250,000

$0

$250,000

$75,000

$0

$1,225,000

Eric Winston

$985,000

$80,000

$0

$25,000

$0

$1,090,000

Brandon Tate

$760,000

$100,000

$144,000

$20,000

$0

$1,024,000

Chykie Brown

$760,000

$0

$0

$0

$0

$600,000

T.J. Johnson

$600,000

$0

$0

$0

$0

$600,000

The Bengals entered this offseason with almost $40 million in cap space, and about $21 million of it was used to re-sign the above-mentioned players. The only outside free agent signed to this point that is among the 51 highest-paid deals is cornerback Chykie Brown, who was added to the team in February following the Super Bowl and before 2016 free agency began.

Bengals free agents who weren't or haven't yet been re-signed

Player

Pos.

2015 Team

2016 Team

Type

Leon Hall

CB

Bengals

N/A

UFA

Marvin Jones

WR

Bengals

Lions

UFA

Mohamed Sanu

WR

Bengals

Falcons

UFA

Reggie Nelson

S

Bengals

N/A

UFA

Andre Smith

RT

Bengals

Vikings

UFA

Emmanuel Lamur

43OLB

Bengals

Vikings

UFA

Wallace Gilberry

43DE

Bengals

N/A

UFA

Brandon Thompson

43DT

Bengals

N/A

UFA

To this point, the Bengals have re-signed most of their key guys while Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu left to sign massive deals elsewhere. Per Over the Cap, the Bengals currently have 63 players under contract, though it's those 51 highest cap hits for 2016 that count toward the Bengals' cap space during the offseason.

They also have around $20 million remaining in cap space to spend this offseason.

What the remaining cap will be used for

The Bengals were very smart to keep this much cap space freed up going into the summer. That's when they'll need to make strong pushes to re-sign some big-name players set to hit free agency in 2017. Here's a look at those players:

Player

Pos.

Type

Current APY

Andrew Whitworth

LT

UFA

$9,000,000

Domata Peko

43DT

UFA

$4,500,000

Dre Kirkpatrick

CB

UFA

$2,155,749

Tyler Eifert

TE

UFA

$2,064,000

Kevin Zeitler

RG

UFA

$1,886,050

Mike Nugent

K

UFA

$1,750,000

AJ Hawk

ILB

UFA

$1,625,000

Giovani Bernard

RB

UFA

$1,313,335

Eric Winston

RT

UFA

$1,090,000

Cedric Peerman

RB

UFA

$1,065,000

Brandon Tate

WR

UFA

$1,024,000

Margus Hunt

43DE

UFA

$917,775

Chykie Brown

CB

UFA

$760,000

Shawn Williams

S

UFA

$690,236

Chris Lewis-Harris

CB

UFA

$630,000

T.J. Johnson

C

RFA

$600,000

Rex Burkhead

RB

UFA

$565,550

Ryan Hewitt

TE

RFA

$520,000

Keith Wenning

QB

ERFA

$480,000

John Peters

TE

ERFA

$475,000

Darryl Baldwin

RT

ERFA

$450,000

Bronson Hill

RB

ERFA

$450,000

You can bet the Bengals will look to extend the deals of Andrew Whitworth, Domata Peko and maybe Mike Nugent by a year or two. None have a lot left in the tank, but, they'll be effective enough in 2017.

As for younger guys like Kevin Zeitler, Dre Kirkpatrick, Shawn Williams and Giovani Bernard, their next contracts will be rather large with four to five years attached to them. The Bengals will want to get each of them extensions this offseason, so we could see a lot of that $20 million go into getting them signed through at least 2017.

Tyler Eifert is technically a free agent in 2016 because the Bengals have yet to exercise his fifth-year option, which they're expected to do, which will get him extended through next year.

The Bengals will also need to keep around $5-8 million of the cap saved up in order to sign 2016 draft picks and have some emergency funds to sign players during the 2016 season.

There's also the likelihood the Bengals have leftover cap space they take into 2017. The cap space a team has after the previous league year ends is called carryover cap and that money is later applied to the following league year. The carryover amount and other adjustments from the 2016 season will be combined for each team's official salary cap for 2017. For 2016, the Bengals had $7.5 million in carryover cap space.

Every NFL team elected to carry over unused salary cap space from 2015 into 2016, and the Bengals had one of the bigger carryovers of any team. Expect that to be close to the number Cincinnati carries over into the 2017 offseason. The carryover amount and other adjustments from the 2016 season will be combined for each team's official salary cap for 2017.

If the Bengals started with the offseason with $40 million in cap space (which may be a bit more than they had), spent about $21 million in free agency and plan to leave $8 million for the draft and 2016 season signings, that leaves $11 million for contract extensions, any other free agency signings they may make and potential carryover cap space they may want to save.

This offseason, the Bengals may be forced to use more of their cap than they're used to.