The Bengals are in perfect position with the 2021 salary cap

Cincinnati Bengals, Duke Tobin(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) *** Local Capture *** Duke Tobin
Cincinnati Bengals, Duke Tobin(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) *** Local Capture *** Duke Tobin /

The Cincinnati Bengals’ front office has done a tremendous job of keeping the team in a good spot salary cap wise heading into 2021. 

On the surface, it may seem like the Cincinnati Bengals could find themselves in a tight financial situation after their spending spree in this year’s free agency. Despite investing over $100M on the open market though, the team actually finds themselves in a better spot heading into 2021 than most other franchises around the NFL.

This is nothing new around the Queen City. The front office annually shows off their financial prowess but in an unprecedented situation, this fact could mean more than it has in years past.

A reduced salary cap?

The league could be coming to grips with a shrinking salary cap next season. It’s too early to make any bold claims, but the NFL has already felt the financial ramifications of the on-going pandemic and that could continue as we inch closer to football season. In fact, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said in an appearance on My Sports Update Football Podcast that estimates he’s received from owners and executives project a $30M-$80M drop in the salary cap.

Such a drastic plummet could send shockwaves through the league but as previously mentioned, the Bengals are among the best positioned to handle such a scenario.

2021 and beyond

Over The Cap ran an assessment on salary cap situations for each team, taking into consideration things such as future free agents, potential to restructure deals, and general flexibility. When the dust settled, the Bengals found themselves in the top tier of franchises.

Their projected salary cap comes in just south of $76M and they have the potential to get that number as high as $128M with maximum roster cuts.

This is great news for an organization that is expected to lay the foundation of their future in 2020. The front office can gauge what they need to add to the roster in the upcoming season and they have a realistic route to add top tier talent from the open market at whatever position they need.

Plus, they should have room to extend soon-to-be free agents such as A.J. Green, Joe Mixon, William Jackson, Carl Lawson, John Ross, Shawn Williams, and others, should they choose to do so.

The Bengals have pretty much every option on the table. If the team surpasses expectations in 2020, they can spend their cap space to keep long time players such as Green, Williams, and Jackson. If things don’t turn out as planned, they could shift their focus to finding outside players to supplement their cornerstones of the future, Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and Logan Wilson.

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Regardless of what the future holds, the Bengals are in one of the best positions in the league financially for both 2021 and beyond.