These players are causing the biggest Bengals salary cap hits in 2023
The Cincinnati Bengals enter one of the most intense off-seasons in franchise history and will have some difficult decisions ahead of them. Priority number one for the Bengals this offseason is to extend Joe Burrow but after that, the decisions become much tougher.
Naturally, the Bengals are going to start by looking at their cap situation and seeing where they can save money. A good starting point when doing this is to see which players have the biggest cap hits.
Contract info courtesy of Spotrac
Who have the biggest cap hits for the Bengals?
D.J. Reader leads the pack with an $11.5 million cap hit but he's not going anywhere this offseason. Trey Hendrickson has the second-biggest cap hit with $10.5 million to his name. Maybe the Bengals try to restructure one or both of these guys' deals. They both definitely deserve to be paid well after the seasons they've put together since coming to Cincinnati.
Tyler Boyd has the third-biggest cap hit with $8.9 million and he's the first realistic candidate that could be cut due to the cap situation. Boyd is a big part of this offense and was a bright spot for this team when there weren't many of those so it'd be hard to see him go, but again, the team is going to have to make some tough decisions and this is one of those.
Joe Mixon is next on the list, sitting with a cap hit of $7.3 million. He's another realistic option to be cut, especially with his lackluster 2022 campaign. If the Bengals think finding a replacement at running back would be easy and way more affordable, that could be the route they take here.
Chidobe Awuzie is a $6.4 million cap hit but unless he's nowhere near close to returning after his injury this offseason, he isn't going anywhere.
La'el Collins joined the team last offseason and boasted that he'd be Joe Burrow's bodyguard but he didn't exactly live up to that hype. He's a $6.2 million cap hit so it's not crazy to think that the Bengals would move on from him if there is room to upgrade at right tackle this offseason.