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Top 10 highest paid Bengals in 2017

Are the Bengals’ highest paid players also their best players?

Regardless of what many fans like to believe, the Cincinnati Bengals do a great job of managing players' salaries. The list of the 10 players with the highest cap hits in 2017 is very similar to the top 10 players on the team's roster, save for players on their rookie contracts, none of whom are among the top 10 highest paid players.

Top 10 Highest Paid Bengals 2017

ACTIVE PLAYERS POS. BASE SALARY SIGNING BONUS ROSTER BONUS WORKOUT BONUS DEAD CAP CAP HIT CAP %
ACTIVE PLAYERS POS. BASE SALARY SIGNING BONUS ROSTER BONUS WORKOUT BONUS DEAD CAP CAP HIT CAP %
Andy Dalton QB $13,100,000 $2,400,000 - $200,000 -$4,800,000 $15,700,000 9.14
A.J. Green WR $10,300,000 $3,000,000 - $200,000 -$9,000,000 $13,500,000 7.86
Geno Atkins DT $7,300,000 $3,000,000 - $300,000 -$3,000,000 $10,600,000 6.17
Dre Kirkpatrick CB $2,550,000 $1,400,000 $5,234,375 $200,000 -$12,000,000 $9,384,375 5.46
Adam-Pacman Jones CB $6,300,000 $666,666 $500,000 $200,000 -$1,333,334 $7,666,666 4.46
Carlos Dunlap DE $5,350,000 $1,600,000 - $300,000 -$1,600,000 $7,250,000 4.22
George Iloka SS $4,000,000 $600,000 $500,000 $300,000 -$2,400,000 $5,400,000 3.14
Michael Johnson DE $3,550,000 $1,125,000 $200,000 $250,000 -$2,250,000 $5,125,000 2.98
Brandon LaFell WR $1,250,000 - $3,550,000 $200,000 -$3,300,000 $5,000,000 2.91
Clint Boling G $4,050,000 $500,000 $200,000 $200,000 -$1,500,000 $4,950,000 2.88

Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and Geno Atkins all rightfully take up the top three spots. After that trio, Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones, who received contract extensions in the last two seasons (this offseason for Kirkpatrick, last offseason for Jones) rank fourth and fifth. You could argue both are overpaid, but, they're also former first round picks who are starters and veterans. With that in mind, you can expect they’d be highly paid.

Next is Pro Bowler Carlos Dunlap, followed by George Iloka, Michael Johnson, Brandon LaFell and Clint Boling. All of these players are starters and though Johnson's play has significantly regressed during the last few seasons, fans were thrilled with the deal he signed back in 2015. Unfortunately, he just hasn’t played as well since leaving Cincinnati and then returning after a short stint with Tampa Bay.

Just outside the top 10 are Tyler Eifert and Vontaze Burfict, both of whom are eligible for contract extensions this offseason. Eifert and Burfict will be free agents in 2018, though, the Bengals have control with Eifert, who they could easily franchise tag for about the same amount he'll get paid on an extension. I’d expect at least one of the two of these players to receive a contract extension before training camp begins in the final week of July. The Bengals have yet to extend any players this offseason who are set to hit free agency in 2018 and the team typically gets a few deals done each summer for players whose contracts expire the following offseason. Last summer, we saw Shawn Williams, Giovani Bernard and Ryan Hewitt receive contract extensions, assuring they didn’t hit free agency this year.

Starters and other notable players to fall outside of the top 12 highest paid players (who aren't on their rookie contracts) include Williams, Bernard, Hewitt and 2017 free agent signings Andre Smith and Kevin Minter.

Do you think the top 10 highest paid players on the Bengals’ roster make sense considering the value they provide on-the-field?