Bengals Roster: 5 most expensive cap hits for 2022 season

Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
D.J. Reader, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

2. D.J. Reader ($13.6 million cap hit)

D.J. Reader has the highest base salary of any non-franchise-tagged player on the roster earning a cool $9 million. He also can earn an additional $400K in roster bonuses and $200K in workout bonuses. The prorated portion of his deal is just over $4 million.

Reader was one of the first players the Taylor regime identified as a priority. The former fifth-round pick out of Clemson was a somewhat surprise signing away from the Texans, as the Bengals already seemed to have a stud in the middle of the defensive line in Geno Atkins.

Hindsight has shown the Bengals’ front office to be very, very wise in bringing in Reader when they did because Atkins was at the end of the line, and none of us knew it.

The first two years of his deal were relative bargains for Cincinnati: $2M base salary in 2020 and $4.3M in 2021. But these next two seasons his salary really takes off: $9M this year and $11M next year.

It’s a pretty safe bet that he’ll be in stripes in 2022, but OverTheCap’s salary data indicates that the Bengals could save $11.6M against the cap if they cut him next year, in his age-29 season.