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Bengals ‘currently’ have the least dead cap for the 2023 NFL season

Emphasis on the ‘currently’ as some big decisions could still be made.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Press Conference David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals are once again the NFL’s best when it comes to avoiding dead cap hits.

As pointed out by NFL Stats on Twitter, the Bengals currently have less than $1 million in dead cap space heading into the 2023 season (Over the Cap has it as $593,004).

This is nothing new for the Bengals, who are typically one of the NFL’s most loyal teams when it comes to letting veterans play out their contracts. Signing players to non-rookie contracts and then cutting them before said contract ends is the easiest way to incur dead cap hits.

We’re seeing a potential example of this is embattled running back Joe Mixon, who many thought would have been a cap casualty at this point due to his decline in play and his ongoing legal woes. If cut, the Bengals would incur a dead cap hit of $2.75 million. There’s also a chance both sides agree to a restructured contract.

Another potential cap casualty is right tackle La’el Collins, who is coming off a major knee injury and is currently slated to be a backup behind Jonah Williams. If Collins is released, the Bengals will incur a dead cap charge of about $1.67 million.

All told, the Bengals will probably add at least a few million dollars in dead cap charges before Week 1 hits, but it’s good to see they’ve avoided that thus far. After all, they need every penny they can get to sign Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and Logan Wilson to contract extensions.