The Bengals have made it a point this offseason to re-sign their best young players entering contract years.
That continued this week with h-back Ryan Hewitt receiving a three-year contract extension. He was set to become a restricted free agent in 2017, but is now signed with the Bengals through the 2019 season.
The deal is worth $7.13 million over the new three years added on, which came with a $1.5 million signing bonus, per ESPN's Coley Harvey. The signing bonus accounts for all of Hewitt's guaranteed money, and it's being paid out in $375,000 payments over the next four years.
Including his 2016 pay, Hewitt will be paid $8.1 million between now and 2019. That averages out to about $2 million over what's now essentially a four-year deal.
That would make Hewitt the fourth highest-paid fullback in the NFL, according to Over The Cap. But if we're only going off the three new years, which average over $2.3 million, that would make Hewitt the second highest-paid fullback.
Overall, this is a solid deal for the Bengals and Hewitt. With the NFL salary cap taking a big jump this offseason, the overall value of players went up. That's why, for the time being, Hewitt is one of the league's highest-paid fullbacks/h-backs.
He's one of the few who's gotten a new deal so far under the new cap limit, so it's only right that he's making more than most of his peers, who are working under deals signed before the big cap spike. Once guys like Patrick DiMarco, Jalston Fowler, Michael Burton and Kyle Juszczyk sign new deals, Hewitt will quickly fall down the rankings of the highest-paid guys at his position.
And let's face it: Even if Hewitt ends up not living up to his deal, it's only a few million dollars per year in the midst of $155+ million the team has in total cap space.
It doesn't exactly hamstring a team if they give a bad contract this small, not to mention they can cut Hewitt with relative ease if they feel they can do better.
What do you think about the Bengals' extension given to Hewitt?