The Bengals have four significant free agents that could potentially create holes in the Bengals’ roster. Three of them are on defense, so retaining the little talent the Bengals have on defense will make the draft much more manageable.
Spotrac has projected the market values for all of the major upcoming free agents. They also estimate the Bengals cap space for next year to be just under $36 million in cap space next year.
First up, A.J. Green is coming off of his franchise tender. He said he is still open to signing a long-term deal with the Bengals despite the way the last few years with the franchise have gone.
According to Spotrac, Green can look to draw a one-year deal worth $6,037,276. This is about a third of what he made last year on the franchise tag, which is fair given that his production was no where near worth the price.
Green might not like that deal, but this would be fair and something the Bengals could easily agree to.
Carl Lawson is estimated to attract a four-year deal worth $35,460,302. That would make his average salary around $8.8 million per year.
William Jackson and Mackensie Alexander are also up for negotiation. Jackson is projected to draw a three-year, $18,912,546 deal, averaging out to about $6.3 million. Spotrac actually values Alexander a bit higher, estimating him receiving a three-year, $25,202,967 deal that averages out to about $8.4 million a year.
If the Bengals signed all of these players at those prices, they would have about $6 or $7 million of cap space left. They will still need to set aside a good chunk for the draft pool, and they won’t be able to sign any outside free agents.
That only includes the top four free agents, and not the other Bengals’ whose contracts are up. Brandon Wilson is an unrestricted free agent. So are Kevin Huber, Randy Bullock, and Clark Harris, which are all three of the Bengals’ specialists. They are also losing every defensive tackle not named Geno Atkins or D.J. Reader, and Atkins could be cut or traded.
The priorities out of the primary group are Lawson and Jackson, and that might be all the Bengals can get.