It looks like a good time to start thinking about next year given the events of Thursday night. I will group them in 3 sections. The first group is certain staters. The second is maybe starters, we have a player but maybe needs to be replaced. The thrid is open positions.
Certain starters (15). Offense.....QB - Burrow, WR1 - Chase, LT1 - Brown Jr., C - Karras, RG1 - Cappa, Defense...LE1 - Hubbard, RDT1 - Hill, RE1 - Hendrickson, LB1 - Pratt, LB1 - Wilson, Nickle- Hilton, FS1 - Hill, RCB1 - Taylor-Britt. ST Kicker - McPherson, LS - Adomitis
Maybe Starters (6). RB1 - Mixon, WR3 - Jones, LG1 - Volson, LCB1 - Turner, SS1 - Battle, P - Robbins
Open Positions (4). WR2, TE1, RT1, LDT1
Bengals Free agents - Reader, Williams, Higgins, Boyd, Irwin, Smith, Sample, Tupou, Browning, T. Williams, Davis-Gaither.
Cap Money. The Bengals have $84.5 million of cap space and $69.4 million of effective cap space. If they move on from Mixon, the bengals would pick up an additional $5.75 million. Cutting Nick Scott would add $2.3 million more.
NFL FAs by position (Bengals need highlighted) QB Backup - Darnold, Tannehill, Minshew, Brisset. RB Starter - Barkley, Jacobs, Ekeler, Swift, Henry. WR - Higgins, Evans, Ridley, Pittman, Samuel, Boyd. TE - Schultz, Fant, Henry. RT - Williams, Becton, Jackson, Smith, Brown. LG - Hunt. DT - Jones, Wilkins, Madubuike, Reader. Edge - Burns, Allen, Young. CB - Sneed, Awuzie. Safety - Winfield, Stone, Delpit among a lot of others.
If I were GM. Cut Mixon and Scott. Effective Cap Space up to $76.8 million. Fire Frank Pollack. Transition Tag Higgins - $19 million $57.8 million Cap space. I go with transition because if somebody really wants to pay his frieght they give up two 1st round draft picks. I sign Schultz, Henry or Fant. I'm guessing one of them comes at $7 million AAV. Still have $50.8 million. Many have Jonah as the best tackle available. That's an issue to me. I look to the draft for a right tackle. I'd swing at Wilkens. There are good safeties available as well. There are no guards worth mentioning, the Bengals need to grab one high in the draft. Volson isn't good enough. Maybe take a flyer on a RB in FA, if not target one in the draft. Jones and Turner can do those jobs. Need to bring in another punter, Robbins isn't the answer. I'd target a better backup QB. Trash heep projects aren't cutting it.