The Bengals employ two of the top-100 paid athletes in the world
The Cincinnati Bengals are home to two of the top-100 paid athletes in the world, Trae Waynes and D.J. Reader, according to Forbes.
It’s long been a narrative that the Cincinnati Bengals and owner Mike Brown are “cheap”. With Forbes releasing their list of the top-100 paid athletes in the world, the orange and black faithful have some ammunition to put that kind of talk to rest.
Trae Waynes, the Bengals’ newest outside corner, ranks as the 80th highest-paid athlete on the globe. The former Minnesota Viking was able to net a 3 year, $42M contract for himself. He is set to carry a $10M cap hit for the 2020 season and a $16M hit the following two seasons. However, the Bengals have the option to get out of that final year with just $5M in dead cap space.
The other big free-agent acquisition that will now suit up in stripes, D.J. Reader, also finds himself in the top-100. The 347-pound interior force secured a 4-year, $53M contract, good enough to make him the highest-paid nose tackle in the entire NFL.
Surprisingly, Kirk Cousins leads the NFL in terms of paychecks, as he grabbed the ninth spot on Forbe’s list.
The entire rest of the AFC North only has two players on the list in Ben Roethlisberger (#91) and Calais Campbell (#98).
One would think that Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and A.J. Green narrowly missed the cut to further represent the Bengals on the list. With Green and the Cincinnati front office working on a contract extension currently, don’t be surprised if the former bulldog makes an appearance on the list in 2021.
Other future candidates to find themselves in this elite category of athletes are William Jackson III and Jessie Bates. Both are high-end players who have yet to reach their full potential. Jackson is set to hit the open market after next season and Bates will follow the year after.
As the Bengals continue in the Zac Taylor era, fans should keep an eye out on this new-found aggressive approach from the front office. If it continues, Cincinnati could wind up shedding the “cheap” label that has plagued them.