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Bengals salary cap breakdown: Offensive tackle

The Bengals are about to have both starting tackles still playing under their rookie contracts, making the offensive tackle position a very low-cost one.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals will be paying very little to their offensive tackles in 2017.

This comes after Andrew Whitworth left this offseason to sign a mammoth deal with the Los Angeles Rams. Whitworth was typically accounting for around $10 million per season with the Bengals, so losing him causes a massive dropoff in how much cap space is committed to the position in 2017.

According to Spotrac, the Bengals are committing just $5,330,053 in cap space to offensive tackles this year. That accounts for 3.40 percent of the team’s cap space and ranks 31st overall among all 32 NFL teams.

By now, you know that the projected starting tackles are third-year linemen Jake Fisher (on the right side) and Cedric Ogbuehi (on the left). Both players were drafted in the first two rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft, though neither has quite lived up to that billing just yet.

That’s especially true of Ogbuehi, who was the 21st overall pick in the 2015 draft. Though his play may not live up to that first-round status, he’s still one of the Bengals’ highest-paid linemen.

Ogbuehi is set to make $2,543,366 this year, which leads all offensive tackles on the Bengals’ roster. We can only hope he starts living up to that paycheck and protects the blind side of Andy Dalton in 2017 and beyond. If the Bengals were to cut Ogbuehi, they would be on the hook for a $4,227,841 dead cap hit.

On the other side, Fisher is making a more modest $1,161,687 this year. While his play was uneven in 2016, it was good enough to think he’ll be a bargain at this number in 2017. If he’s waived, the Bengals would have a $678,917 dead cap hit.

The rest of the Bengals’ tackles are making very little this season, including veteran Eric Winston. He signed a one-year, $1,080,000 deal this offseason, but there’s just a dead cap hit of $80,000 if he’s waived.

It’s worth noting that Over The Cap has Andre Smith listed as an offensive tackle, even though the Bengals have stated he’s expected to move to guard and will likely be the starting right guard. If Smith were to count toward this group, he’d add another $3,250,000 to the Bengals’ cap hit at offensive tackle in 2017.

Here is a contract breakdown for all of the Bengals’ offensive tackles, courtesy of Over The Cap: