Another free agency period has passed in which star players like Dashon Goldson, Reggie Bush, and Mike Wallace signed with teams not named the Cincinnati Bengals. But that’s because the Bengals have enough star players they the’d rather keep their own than pursue other teams’ best players, and Geoff Hobson reports the Bengals plan to roll over $10 million of 2013 cap space into 2014, allowing them to re-sign their own players:
Since they’re rolling over $10 million into next year to brace for big extensions with key players, they’re not looking to do much beyond getting deals for right tackle Andre Smith and cornerback Terence Newman. They’ll do some deals (backer, safety, QB?) but those most likely won’t be major as thoughts turn to trying to get an extension with two-time Pro Bowl tackle Geno Atkins.
That explains the lack of free agent activity with players like Dashon Goldson, Reggie Bush, and Mike Wallace.
This article by ESPN in 2012 detailed how much salary cap rollover can help a team sign their, or other teams’ star players:
Carryover is gold when you consider that salaries keep rising for top starters and that the cap is less than the $123 million it was in 2009.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers carried over $23.5 million and were able to purchase the best free-agency class of 2012: Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks and Eric Wright. John Elway of the Broncos had a $27 million carryover and had the luxury of bringing in Peyton Manning’s $19 million salary.
While we won’t see the Bengals pursuing other teams’ stars next offseason, they will be working to re-sign their own star in Geno Atkins, who will likely become the highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL when his new contract is signed.
And frankly, I’d rather have Atkins then all three of the players named above.