For the first time in what feels like an eternity, the Bengals will have a major talent at center in the form of Billy Price.
Ever since Rich Braham hung up his cleats, the Bengals have experimented with re-treads, undrafted free agents and late-round picks at this all-important position. And of course, the results were largely a big letdown, especially when it came to Russell Bodine for the last four seasons.
Thankfully, Bodine is gone, and that helped lead to the Bengals spending a first-round pick on Ohio State center Billy Price in the 2018 NFL Draft.After beginning his college career on defense, Price was he moved to the offensive line during his redshirt freshman season. He began his career at guard, where he started all 15 games (three at left guard, 12 at right) on the national championship-winning Buckeyes team in 2014.
Price earned third-team All-Big Ten honors as a full-time starter at left guard the following year, then earned first-team honors as a right guard as a junior.
Price didn’t move to center until his senior year, and he was a unanimous All-American, won the Rimington Trophy and was named the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2017.
That decorated career helped Price become a first-round pick this year, and he’ll be well compensated for it. Price signed a four-year, $11,712,492 contract with the Bengals, including a $6,598,176 signing bonus and an average annual salary of $2,928,123.
In 2018, Price will earn a base salary of $480,000 and a prorated signing bonus of $1,649,544 while carrying a cap hit of $2,129,544 and a dead cap value of $11,712,492.
Here’s what the contract looks like during the first four years, per Over The Cap:
However, Price has a fifth-year option the team can exercise entering his fourth season (2021) since he was a first-round pick. The fifth-year salary of NFL players on rookie deals will vary depending on how high the player was drafted. For players outside the top 10, the wage is the average of the third through 25th highest salaries at the position.
For now, Price will average just under $4 million per season for the next four years in Cincinnati.