The Cincinnati Bengals won't be able to keep the whole band together in 2023, at least not if they want to extend their key players, re-sign the guys they need back, and sign impact players. With this in mind, who are two of the easiest cuts for the Bengals to make in the offseason?
By now, Bengals fans are well-aware that Joe Mixon is in danger of being cut. Not only was he not as productive last season as fans had grown accustomed to but the Bengals will save $10 million if he's cut after June 1st.
Had Mixon put up similar numbers that he had in previous years, cutting him wouldn't be an easy decision but it is here. He declined in 2022 and that's never good for a running back. The position can be found for much cheaper in the draft and, as we saw with Kansas City's run to the Super Bowl, starting-caliber talent can be found as late as the seventh round of the draft.
Bengals can save roughly $18 million with two simple cuts
The other easy cut for the team is La'el Collins, who was signed just last offseason but didn't live up to the big game he talked after signing. Collins was injured late in the regular season and even before that, he was pretty inconsistent and unimpressive.
Collins' injury means that the Bengals will take their time when assessing if cutting him is the right decision. If they can sign a Mike McGlinchey or Jawaan Taylor in free agency, then Collins is expendable but otherwise, they might end up keeping him around if no other options join the team in free agency or the draft.
If Collins is cut after June 1st, Cincinnati would save $7.7 million. Cutting him before June 1st saves the team $6 million so that's why it's likely the team waits until after the first of June to part ways with their previous flashy signing.
Cutting both Mixon and Collins would save the Bengals roughly $18 million and both moves could benefit the team. Neither guy did enough in 2022 to earn a guaranteed spot on the roster in 2023.