Bengals fans don’t need to remember this is a quarterback league. But just in case they forgot less than a month after second Joe Burrow brought them within 50 yards of the NFL title, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson offered a heartbreaking prelude to the agency spell on Tuesday. free next week.
Rodgers may or may not have become the first man on $50 million a year, depending on what his alleged extension with Green Bay looks like, and Denver has waived the ransom of a king, queen and a valet to ferry Russell Wilson out of Seattle.
As AFC champions Cincinnati prepare to sign free agents when the official signing window opens a week from Wednesday, Burrow’s massive structural change extension looms on the horizon. after this coming season.
But the $13 million franchise tag they gave free security Jessie Bates III on Monday says it’s business as usual as they try to add more pieces to a young core that has almost stole the Super Bowl from the favorite Rams rather than save their chips for Burrow, eligible for a new deal after 2022.
The only question is how the estimated $20 million available will be distributed. A percentage is undoubtedly attributed to improving the offensive line as well as retaining some key men in the middle of the defensive line such as Larry Ogunjobi and BJ Hill. And they would like to keep tight end CJ Uzomah.
“Free agency includes the guys we don’t have under contract who were on our team (in 2021). Sometimes I think that gets lost in the shuffle,” the Bengals director of player personnel said. , Duke Tobin, during the last month. . “Some years your team has guys that won’t be top guys that you’re chasing internally and so you get maybe a bit more external guys and then this year will be a mix. We’ll be looking outside of our organization. But we will definitely be looking within our organization for the guys who don’t have contracts in the future that we want to continue working with and the guys who got us to where we got to this year. And there are some has a number.
There is potential room there. Releasing or trading cornerback Trae Waynes would save around $10 million from the $208.2 million salary cap, but one thing is certain. The Bengals aren’t going to change their philosophy that disapproves of throwing big money in future years to inflate a mega deal, which works in Burrow’s favor.
They like to take the hit early in the contract, like Trey Hendrickson getting nearly a third of his $60 million last year in his first season. They also like the price-performance ratio.