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PFF lists four Bengals in top 100 free agent rankings

Big paydays are in store for these four.

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Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

NFL free agency is set to be a fascinating time for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Extension talks with Joe Burrow and then Tee Higgins figure to take up most of the front office’s time, but several of their players with expiring contracts will garner interest from the 31 other clubs in the league.

In Pro Football Focus’ initial top 100 free agent rankings, Cincinnati has four players that made the cut. Here are the new contracts PFF projects each player will sign this offseason:

  • Jessie Bates III: Five years, $75m ($40m guaranteed)
  • Vonn Bell: Three years, $22m ($13.25m guaranteed)
  • Germaine Pratt: Three years, $24.75m ($14.75m guaranteed)
  • Hayden Hurst: Three years, $28.5m ($17m guaranteed)

Bates, Bell, and Pratt are three of four incumbent starters on defense that are set to hit the open market, while Hurst is the lone offensive starter.

Cincinnati has attempted to negotiate a long-term deal with Bates on three separate occasions, so their partnership appears to be at an end. Bates being out of the picture would put an emphasis on retaining Bell, and PFF’s projected contract would be well in the Bengals’ price range for the veteran safety.

Pratt and Hurst are more unpredictable. The former has stated his frustration not being on the field for third downs and seems to be on the way out, but an average annual salary of just $8.25 million could keep the Bengals in the picture. Hurst has made it known he loves being with the team, but nearly $10 million a year for a soon-to-be 30-year-old tight end would have the Bengals moving on with haste.

The NFL has announced the salary cap for the 2023 league year to be nearly $225 million, so don’t be shocked to see free agent deals well above expectations.

It would be unlikely for the Bengals to watch all four players jettison for other teams, but with so much salary cap uncertainty regarding Burrow’s inevitable new deal, anything seems possible.