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Bengals will have about $15 million to spend in NFL free agency

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The Bengals have a ton of cap space, but they’ll be holding a lot of it back, and for good reason.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

NFL free agency begins this week, and the Cincinnati Bengals appear to have a gameplan in terms of how much they’ll spend.

As of Monday morning, the Bengals have $35,502,296 in cap space for 2018. However, only about $15 million of that will actually be used to sign free agents, according to Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson.

This year’s Bengals’ budget figures to be no different. It looks like they have a total of $15 million to spend on this season and another $11 million in carryover to extend Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. A total of $7 million is earmarked for draft picks for their 11 selections and they traditionally put aside another $5 million for a pad for injuries and incentives. About $2 million has been ticketed in years past for players that get cut and dead money, a salary cap charge for players no longer with the team.

That’s about the same strategy the Bengals use every year, so 2018 won’t be any different. That’s probably a good strategy since both Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap will command monster contract extensions.

However, the Bengals could still be more active in free agency this year since they don’t have many of their own free agents to re-sign. Tyler Eifert probably won’t sign a big contract, whether it be with the Bengals or another team.

The team is probably going to keep Russell Bodine, but it’s hard to see him breaking the bank as one of the league’s worst centers.

So, the Bengals could re-sign those two and still have plenty of cap space left to sign some impact free agents. They’ll probably be guys who were cut this offseason, which doesn’t affect the Bengals’ potential compensatory picks.

There are plenty of big-name players who’ve been cut or could be cut this offseason, including Muhammad Wilkerson, Ndamukong Suh, Mike Glennon and Martellus Bennett among others.