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Roster bonuses approaching for Andy Dalton and Vontaze Burfict

Taking a look at the team's roster bonuses heading into the offseason and noting that Andy Dalton and Vontaze Burfict will receive significant bonuses come March.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals will have two significant roster bonuses for quarterback Andy Dalton and linebacker Vontaze Burfict after the league rolls into the new year on March 10, 2015 at 4 p.m. (ET). This is the date when expiring contracts actually expire and when free agents are allowed to sign with new teams -- there is a one week negotiation period that's allowed without the endless reminders about tampering.

On March 14, 2015, Burfict will earn a $3.15 million roster bonus -- this is after the $3.8 million roster bonus that he already earned in 2014. Combining his roster, workout and signing bonuses ($3.1 million), Burfict will have earned $12 million of the $19.004 million that he signed for, with two years remaining. Don't feel sorry for him... this is when his base salary really starts ratcheting up with $2.85 million in 2016 and $3.75 million in 2017 and workout bonuses of $200,000 in each of the last two years.

Two days before Burfict earns his roster bonus, Andy Dalton will see a $4 million roster bonus on March 12 -- the highest bonus among anyone on the roster this offseason. Defensive tackle Domata Peko ($1.5 million), offensive tackle Andre Smith ($1 million), and cornerback Adam Jones ($250,000) will also be receiving notable bonuses.

Roster bonuses are generally this: If you're on the roster by a specific date, you will receive lots of extra money. This has been the structure that Cincinnati has used with their high-priced contract extensions, such as for defensive tackle Geno Atkins and defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Atkins earned a $3 million roster bonus in 2014. Dunlap received a roster bonus of $3.7 million soon after signing his five-year extension with another $5.7 million earned as a roster bonus in year two.