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Bengals have less than $18 million of cap space remaining one week into free agency

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Tough decisions may be coming as the Bengals manage the team’s 2018 cap space.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals have made a number of key signings and acquisitions since the end of the 2017 NFL season.

The Cordy Glenn trade brings on a $11,250,000 cap hit for the Bengals this year. Tyler Eifert has a $4,125,000 cap hit on his $5.5 million deal. Even Kevin Huber’s new $2.3 million cap hit this season added a considerable ding to the Bengals’ cap space for 2018.

After all the signings the Bengals have made this offseason, the team has $17,420,171 in cap room remaining, according to the NFLPA’s public salary cap report. (See below for the full report.)

Let’s take a look at last year’s Bengals draft class, which had the same number of draft picks as the Bengals currently possess in 2018, 11.

Cap hits 2017 draft class:

John Ross: $3,084,444

Joe Mixon: $990,940

Jordan Willis: $691,100

Carl Lawson: $628,153

Josh Malone: $614,810

Ryan Glasgow: $569,912

Jordan Evans: $504,126

Jake Elliott:$288,348*

J.J. Dielman: $288,348*

Brandon Wilson: $218,823

Mason Schreck: $364,071

TOTAL: $8,243,075

*Contracts terminated and cap hits no longer available. Money noted is what they earned with Bengals.

Additionally, Spotrac has projected how much the Bengals’ 2018 rookie class will cost and the projection says the cap hit will be $8,433,155. So, let’s use that number for now, though it won’t be 100 percent accurate and will change if the Bengals make any draft weekend trades.

Spotrac’s Bengals 2018 Draft Class Cost Projection

PICK TEAM TOTAL VALUE SIGNING BONUS 2018 CAP
PICK TEAM TOTAL VALUE SIGNING BONUS 2018 CAP
21 CIN from BUF $11,806,211 $6,666,335 $2,146,584
46 CIN $6,136,259 $2,542,734 $1,115,684
77 CIN $3,802,202 $938,799 $714,700
100 (C) CIN $3,334,840 $769,387 $672,347
112 CIN $3,107,426 $692,426 $653,107
151 CIN $2,706,555 $291,555 $552,889
158 CINf rom BUF $2,696,289 $281,289 $550,322
170 (C) CIN $2,634,801 $219,801 $534,950
249 CINf rom NE $2,485,721 $70,721 $497,680
252 (C) CIN $2,484,784 $69,784 $497,446
253 (C) CIN $2,484,784 $69,784 $497,446

As of today the Bengals have $17,420,171 in cap space. If you take out Spotrac’s draft projection total, that’s $8,987,016 remaining. The Bengals will likely still sign a few more low-key free agents between now and the start of the season. They will also sign some undrafted free agents on low-cost deals.

Maybe more importantly, both Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are set to become free agents in 2019 and the Bengals want to work on long-term extensions with both players this offseason. That will eat into the $8,987,016 number. It’s possible the team even looks to extend Darqueze Dennard or Tyler Kroft, too. Extensions will likely raise the 2018 cap hit of those players, other than Dennard who is set to play on an expensive fifth year option to his rookie contract. If he were to receive an extension, his 2018 cap hit could be lowered.

The Bengals rarely make cuts for cap purposes, but the team may need to do that in the coming weeks/months to ensure there’s enough space to extend the players they want to extend, especially the defensive leaders. The Bengals also typically leave some padding for emergency signings due to injury and dead cap hits that they’ll take when cutting down the roster to 52 players.

Here’s where every NFL team stands as of March 21 when it comes to cap space. Note: cap space changes daily as teams sign and cut players.

NFL Salary Cap Report (3/21/2018)

Team Current Contracts 2017 Carryover Team Cap Cap Room
Team Current Contracts 2017 Carryover Team Cap Cap Room
TOTAL $339,994,888 $5,343,770,761 $694,920,988
AVERAGE/TEAM $10,624,840 $166,992,836 $21,716,281
Arizona Cardinals 61 $1,601,786 $166,323,005 $12,373,156
Atlanta Falcons 53 $1,121,399 $171,004,676 $5,633,482
Baltimore Ravens 65 $3,275,117 $165,185,004 $11,301,046
Buffalo Bills 63 $11,583,459 $166,388,715 $22,054,156
Carolina Panthers 64 $4,400,316 $172,771,630 $11,347,436
Chicago Bears 58 $7,608,858 $162,630,156 $22,932,459
Cincinnati Bengals 70 $10,647,543 $171,524,247 $17,420,171
Cleveland Browns 76 $58,912,960 $165,883,770 $75,379,556
Dallas Cowboys 56 $7,874,774 $183,663,157 $2,096,808
Denver Broncos 69 $10,208,201 $166,827,231 $22,317,909
Detroit Lions 67 $4,151,311 $165,664,689 $16,232,577
Green Bay Packers 64 $3,934,518 $165,122,093 $20,031,175
Houston Texans 74 $9,949,210 $151,150,063 $41,194,701
Indianapolis Colts 71 $16,837,503 $119,480,351 $74,051,439
Jacksonville Jaguars 71 $27,768,739 $199,436,352 $11,937,514
Kansas City Chiefs 70 $2,600,000 $169,807,223 $8,854,132
Los Angeles Chargers 61 $2,622,050 $166,433,749 $13,295,178
Los Angeles Rams 61 $4,314,494 $154,559,045 $25,155,316
Miami Dolphins 61 $69,161 $168,232,537 $9,166,140
Minnesota Vikings 57 $13,729,203 $169,739,499 $20,921,266
New England Patriots 68 $3,012,602 $168,365,931 $11,863,858
New Orleans Saints 71 $287,065 $162,082,274 $17,039,281
New York Giants 73 $365,321 $171,893,465 $6,155,606
New York Jets 73 $17,321,900 $162,180,099 $31,765,454
Oakland Raiders 72 $7,626,880 $182,717,721 -$247,949
Philadelphia Eagles 66 $514,409 $172,542,555 $6,069,354
Pittsburgh Steelers 63 $4,041,060 $175,125,305 $6,362,746
San Francisco 49ers 72 $56,048,430 $190,582,014 $47,186,454
Seattle Seahawks 57 $547,270 $162,864,158 $15,370,801
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 63 $15,195,668 $150,900,205 $44,204,151
Tennessee Titans 59 $30,339,319 $164,645,677 $44,076,017
Washington Redskins 73 $1,484,362 $158,044,165 $21,379,598
NFLPA