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Thread: Bengals Salary Cap Update

  1. #1

    Bengals Salary Cap Update

    Bengals now about $16 million under cap

    PM ET

    By Coley Harvey |

    CINCINNATI -- After signing quarterback Andy Dalton earlier this week to a six-year contract extension that could pay him up to $115 million through 2020, the Cincinnati Bengalscommitted a significant portion of their once-massive salary-cap figure.

    As of Wednesday afternoon, the Bengals had about $15.9 million remaining in cap space for the 2014 season, according to NFL Players Association records. Before Dalton's extension, they were about $23.7 million under the cap, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

    Dalton's deal, which will average about $16 million per year, is now scheduled to give the Bengals a cap charge of around $9.1 million this season. Before the extension, he had been set for a $1.7 million cap charge in this, his fourth season.

    Prior to Dalton's signing, only the Jacksonville Jaguars had more remaining cap space than the Bengals -- with nearly $27 million left over, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Cincinnati still has one of the larger remaining salary-cap figures, but it is much closer to having spent all its money on this salary-cap cycle.

    With the way they structured Dalton's deal, the Bengals did leave room for another deal or two to get done either just before or during this season. Odds are higher that another deal would come at some point this preseason rather than during the regular season, judging from the Bengals' recent history of favoring summertime deals over those at any other time of the year.

    Some believe receiver A.J. Green could be next in line for a new deal. Sports Illustrated's Peter King tweeted Monday night that Bengals coach Marvin Lewis texted Green on Sunday after the organization learned Dalton's extension was about to go through. King said Lewis told Green to get his agents ready: It was time he signed long-term, too.

    Based on Green's perceived value as a top 3 or, at the very least top 5, receiver, it's possible he could earn a deal just south of Dalton's that would pay him $14-15 million per year. The two highest paid receivers in the league, Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, are averaging just more than $16 million. Depending on how a deal with Green gets structured, in theory, the Bengals could make it work this season.

    While there may still be some wiggle room to make such a deal happen, the Bengals don't necessarily have to be in a rush to try to get one done. They have already exercised his fifth-year option for next season, meaning they are assured of the receiver's talents at least through the 2015 season. It's also possible that if they needed to, the Bengals could offer him a franchise tag in 2016 to keep him in town that season, too.

    Also on the Bengals' contractual radar: linebacker Vontaze Burfict. The Pro Bowl player entering his final year on an undrafted free agent's contract, was in talks with the Bengals for a contract extension before negotiations reportedly stalled last week. Burfict could be closer to the $5 million per season range, meaning it might be more likely the Bengals revisit his negotiations before they start with Green.

  2. #2
    With Burfict in, Bengals now just over cap

    By Coley Harvey |

    CINCINNATI -- Now that Vontaze Burfict's contract extension is official, the Cincinnati Bengalsproject to be slightly over the salary-cap limit for this season.

    With the approximate $5.5 million cap hit the Bengals will take in 2014 on Burfict's newly completed deal, the club now anticipates spending a little more than the $133 million the NFL will allow teams to dole out this season.

    The $133 million figure the Bengals believe they are at is not an official one since none of that money has to be paid until the end of the season. It includes what the team projects practice-squad and injured-reserve spending will end up being. If you take the roughly $6 million or so the Bengals likely will dole on their practice squad and injured reserve group, they have just enough money under the cap as of now to pay player salaries.

    Of course, with some cuts still to take place before this weekend and other personnel changes sure to come between now and the end of the season, the current cap figure most certainly will change. That's one reason why determining a team's exact salary-cap figure on any given day is far from an exact science.

    If you were to take a look at the NFL Players Association's latest cap numbers, you would see where the Bengals had $125.6 million devoted to cap spending before Burfict's deal went through. You also would see where the NFLPA reported that the Bengals had a little more than $16 million left in cap space. What you wouldn't see is that the $16 million takes into account the $8.7 million or so of carryover money the Bengals don't factor into their spending for now. A good chunk of that money likely will end up going toward paying the practice-squad and injured-reserve debts outlined above.

    So that means, using the NFLPA numbers -- which don't take into account practice-squad and injured-reserve spending -- the Bengals actually had closer to $7 million to spend just before Burfict's deal. That would have been enough to put them just shy of the cap limit. According to the Bengals' projections, ones that include the other spending, this deal now puts them slightly over.

    The bottom line is this: Regardless which numbers you use, just know that the team is right at the salary cap.

    How does that affect the rest of the team? It means that barring any departures of major players who aren't owed guaranteed money in 2014, the Bengals are probably done for now with their extensions and free-agent deals. A.J. Green already has been expected to finish his initial four-year rookie deal this year and make his $10 million next season as part of the fifth-year option he was granted. Any preexisting plans to restructure his deal in a way that will lock him up for long term with big bucks may have to be put on ice temporarily.

    Don't worry about that too much, though. The Bengals have proven in recent years that when they feel the time is right, they'll make the right move to keep their big-money man. That time for Green probably won't be next March.

    But it could be next summer. The Bengals' last four mega deals were all executed in June (Carlos Dunlap, 2013), early September (Geno Atkins, 2013) and August (Andy Dalton and Burfict, 2014).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    San Antoino, TX
    So much for the Bengals being cheap

  4. #4
    Doesn't this pretty much mean Gresham will be wearing a different uniform in 2015? I know the Bengals could resign Gresham after he becomes a free agent, but if he gets any decent offers at all I just don't see it happening.

  5. #5
    Depends. I think they can get a deal done in the next week if they wanted. They have the money despite what is reported.

    If they get to March though, I think he's gone.

    We really have no good gauge on what the Bengals think about Gresham.
    Last edited by Bengals1181; 08-27-2014 at 10:28 PM.

  6. #6
    It's funny how "cheap" becomes "shrewd" when the franchise is successful.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
    Depends. I think they can get a deal done in the next week. They have the money despite what is reported.

    If they get to March though, I think he's gone.
    That would be really fast, considering no one has said anything publicly, that I recall. It's probably mutually beneficial for this season to play out. Gresham could make a lot of money if he plays consistently like he is capable, and I think the organization would be happy to reward an All-Pro season. Of course it depends on the development of Eifert and maybe even Hewitt

  8. #8
    I really hope they can figure something out with him. Guy is just a punishing force. Would be a bummer to see him go somewhere else and possibly figure it all out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Syracuse, NY
    I think they may be playing the compensatory picks game with Gresh if he's not asking for a team-friendly number. This is the first season where he's relatively expensive - he made $980K last year and his salary jumps to $3.4M this year ($4.8M cap hit). If he's asking for anywhere close to that I think they let him walk and we'll get a compensatory 4th or 5th (total guess) rounder for his loss.

    For comparison sake I think he could be asking for a Greg Olsen-ish deal. Olsen signed a 5yr/$22.8M contract with the Carolina Panthers, including a $2.5M signing bonus, $6.2M guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $4.56M as his last deal.

    I don't think the team would do that deal and that's kind of playing with fire since I think Gresham is one of the more underrated players. If he could get the mental lapses out of his system I think we'd all be happy with a deal like that, but there's too many negative plays to go along with the good ones to warrant a deal of that size, in my opinion. He'd have to show more (positive) consistency for me to sign him to a deal like that.

  10. #10
    $4.56M per year for Gresham? I'd sign that deal in a heartbeat if I were the Bengals.


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