If you recall last season, the Bengals were assigned $6.88 million to their rookie pool for all ten of their draft picks with a limit of $37.87 million over the life of those contracts. That number was high because the Bengals had two first-round selections between cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and guard Kevin Zeitler.
This year, the Bengals have just one first-rounder, which will save the Bengals around $2 million. That’s money that could be the difference in signing a free agent like Reggie Bush to a 3-year deal for $6 million per year, and watching him sign elsewhere after the Bengals offered him just $4 million per year. The Bengals will likely have to designate just $5 million to rookies this year, meaning that there will be no room for Mike Brown to avoid spending money this offseason. Hopefully it’s in the form of resigning Michael Johnson and Andre Smith, while signing at least one quality free agent like Bush.