The Cincinnati Bengals may not be getting better value at any one position than at safety.
It’s one of the few spots on the roster that has every starter locked up for the foreseeable future. George Iloka and Shawn Williams have slowly grown into one of the better safety tandems you’ll find in the NFL, and both players received new contracts in 2016 that have them signed through the 2020 season.
According to Spotrac, the Bengals currently have $11,099,920 committed to their safeties for the 2017 season, most of which is going to Iloka and Williams. That accounts for 7.18 percent of the Bengals’ overall cap hit this year, but it’s also just the 18th-biggest cap hit of any team for the safety position. That’s impressive with two veteran safeties, both on their second NFL contracts.
Most teams have at least one safety they’re committing big bucks to, but the Bengals maneuvered well enough to get Williams and Iloka locked up without overpaying for either. Williams will have a cap hit of $4,034,375 in 2017. If released, the Bengals will have a dead cap hit of $1,600,000 for Williams.
As for Iloka, his cap hit will be $5,400,000 in 2017. If released, the Bengals will be on the hook for a $2,400,000 dead cap hit. You can expect both to be on the 53-man roster. After those two, every other Bengals safety is making less than $700,000.
Deron Smith figures to be the first safety off the bench this year, at least heading into training camp. He’s set to have a cap hit of $644,658 in 2017. If Smith were to surprisingly be waived, the Bengals would have just $59,316 in dead money.
Clayton Fejedelem will be challenging Smith for that third safety spot. Fejedelem will have a cap hit of $555,887 and just $47,663 in dead cap if waived.
It’s worth noting that neither Over The Cap or Spotrac considers Brandon Wilson as a safety, even though that’s where the Bengals list the sixth-round rookie. Even if Wilson were listed as a safety in these services, it wouldn’t change the cap hit much since Wilson will make just $500,523 in 2017.
Here is a contract breakdown for all of the Bengals safeties, courtesy of Over The Cap: