Cincinnati Bengals: Salary Cap Implications of Trey Hopkins Extension
The Cincinnati Bengals wisely locked up one of their best offensive linemen, Trey Hopkins. Here, we look at what that means for the salary cap.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Cincinnati Bengals signed center Trey Hopkins to a 3 year contract extension. Hopkins entered the league as an un-drafted college free agent and dealt with significant injuries to begin his career. He battled back, playing well in a back up role through out the years. This season, he won the starting job and was arguably the best offensive lineman on the entire team.
The contract is said to be worth $20.4 million with $4.5 million guaranteed. In addition to that, it appears that the front office front loaded the contract, giving Hopkins $8.95 million in year one. The Bengals are notorious for doing this, as it opens up more cap space in the future and allows them to cut ties down the road without a lot of dead salary cap, should they need to.
With the Texas native’s contract now on the books, the Bengals appear to have approximately $38 million left in cap space. That’s before even taking into account the approximately $13 million they’ll get in rollover from not using it last season. This money will likely be used to sign a number of their own free agents such as A.J. Green, Darqueze Dennard, and Nick Vigil, among others.
Keep in mind the team still has a lot of cap room flexibility with the contract of Andy Dalton. Should they move on from him, it would clear up $17.7 million, giving them much more spending power.
Beyond the salary cap implications, the contract extension signifies the Bengals have slated in two of their offensive line starters for the 2020 season. With Jonah Williams at left tackle and Hopkins at center, that leaves the guard spots and right tackle position left unaccounted for.
The team is clearly focused on the position group, making this move relatively early in the process. It will be interesting to see how Duke Tobin and company goes about addressing one of the teams weakest links. Hopkins is likely the first move of many to ensure the Bengals protect their new franchise quarterback.