Earlier this week, reports came out that the 2013 NFL salary cap will be $121.1 million. If that number holds true, ESPN’s John Clayton projected the Cincinnati Bengals would be around $55 million under the cap.
NFL.com also projected the franchise tag numbers, which is key to the Bengals, as they will likely tag either DE Michael Johnson, or OT Andre Smith:
CB: Franchise: $10.668 Transition: $8.939
DE: Franchise: $10.984 Transition: $8.994
DT: Franchise: $8.306 Transition: $6.919
K/P: Franchise: $2.926 Transition: $2.654
LB: Franchise: $9.455 Transition: $8.216
OL: Franchise: $9.660 Transition: $8.560
QB: Franchise: $14.642 Transition: $12.845
RB: Franchise: $8.079 Transition: $6.851
S: Franchise: $6.798 Transition: $5.899
TE: Franchise: $5.962 Transition: $5.105
WR: Franchise: $10.357 Transition: $8.716
So go ahead and knock about $10 million off of the Bengals salary cap, and they would still have around $45 million to spend this offseason. That would still rank Cincinnati in the top-5 of available salary, and with the minimum spending requirement that each team must spend at least 89 percent of the salary cap, Mike Brown will finally be forced to open up his checkbook this offseason.