Cincinnati Bengals Rumors & News

NFLPA Announces Cap Carryover Amounts

The NFL Players Association has announced all 32 teams’ salary cap carryover amounts for the 2017 season (Twitter link). Next season’s cap figure isn’t yet known, but it’s likely to be in the $165MM range. When that becomes official, it can be added to each team’s carryover amount to determine that club’s official spending room for 2017.

Here are this year’s carryover totals:

  1. Cleveland Browns: $50,123,269
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars: $39,314,310
  3. San Francisco 49ers: $38,708,916
  4. Tennessee Titans: $24,046,522
  5. Washington Redskins: $15,055,131
  6. Carolina Panthers: $13,208,020
  7. Miami Dolphins: $8,363,708
  8. Chicago Bears: $8,103,197
  9. Oakland Raiders: $8,000,000
  10. Green Bay Packers: $7,984,687
  11. Philadelphia Eagles: $7,933,869
  12. Denver Broncos: $7,243,248
  13. Indianapolis Colts: $6,614,106
  14. Cincinnati Bengals: $6,578,866
  15. New Orleans Saints: $5,754,000
  16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $5,330,779
  17. New England Patriots: $5,292,335
  18. Kansas City Chiefs: $5,002,168
  19. Houston Texans: $4,935,924
  20. Detroit Lions: $4,725,644
  21. Arizona Cardinals: $4,405,068
  22. Pittsburgh Steelers: $3,269,367
  23. Buffalo Bills: $2,837,222
  24. Baltimore Ravens: $2,553,126
  25. Dallas Cowboys: $2,401,553
  26. Seattle Seahawks: $2,065,865
  27. New York Giants: $1,800,000
  28. Atlanta Falcons: $926,541
  29. Minnesota Vikings: $400,184
  30. New York Jets: $371,487
  31. Los Angeles Rams: $304,311
  32. Los Angeles Chargers: $113,693

2017 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.Donte Moncrief (Vertical)

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $1.8MM in 2017. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2017 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

49ers: Aaron Lynch, LB; Marcus Martin, OL

Bears: Charles Leno, T; Will Sutton, DT

Bengals: Russell Bodine, C

Bills: Preston Brown, LB; Seantrel Henderson, T

Broncos: Michael Schofield, OL

Browns: Christian Kirksey, LB

Buccaneers: Kevin Pamphile, G

Cardinals: John Brown, WR

Chiefs: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, G; Zach Fulton, G; Phillip Gaines, CB

Colts: Donte Moncrief, WR

Cowboys: Anthony Hitchens, LB

Falcons: Devonta Freeman, RB

Giants: Devon Kennard, LB

Jaguars: Aaron Colvin, CB; Brandon Linder, G; Telvin Smith, LB

Lions: Nevin Lawson, CB; Travis Swanson, C

Packers: Corey Linsley, C; Richard Rodgers, TE

Panthers: Tre Boston, S; Trai Turner, G

Raiders: T.J. Carrie, CB; Justin Ellis, DT; Gabe Jackson, G

Rams: Maurice Alexander, S; E.J. Gaines, CB

Redskins: Bashaud Breeland, CB; Spencer Long, G; Morgan Moses, T

Texans: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE; Andre Hal, S

Titans: DaQuan Jones, DL; Avery Williamson, LB

Vikings: Shamar Stephen, DT

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals, Kevin Zeitler Not Talking Contract

Kevin Zeitler is one of the Bengals’ most important pending free agents, but despite the fact that he’s schedule to hit the open market in March, the veteran guard hasn’t had any discussions with Cincinnati about a new deal, according to Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com“I haven’t talked to anyone, I haven’t heard anything, so I can truly say I have no idea what that situation is right now,” Zeitler said, while maintaining that he hopes to return to the Bengals in 2017.Kevin Zeitler (vertical)

[RELATED: Bengals Don’t Allow Paul Guenther To Interview For Redskins DC]

Zeitler, 26, has made 71 starts at right guard since Cincinnati selected him in the first round of the 2012 draft, and in 2016 Zeitler graded as the league’s seventh-best guard, according to Pro Football Focus. Zeitler played the 2016 campaign under the terms of his fifth-year option which paid him $8.07MM, a figure would should represent the bare minimum in contract negotiations. As PFR’s Zach Links noted in our most recent 2017 Free Agent Power Rankings, Zeitler’s only real free agent competition at guard this offseason in the Packers’ T.J. Lang, so Zeitler could take aim at the five-year, $58.5MM deal that Kelechi Osemele signed with the Raiders last year.

Zeitler is one of several Bengals who are set to become unrestricted free agents this spring, including fellow offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, who reiterated that he wants to stay at left tackle rather than move inside to guard. “I don’t think any left tackle in the league pass protects better than I do,” Whitworth told Terrell. “I think I’m right there with all those (top) guys. Are they younger and all those good things? Yeah, but that’s really it.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Deny Redskins/Guenther Interview

The Bengals don’t want to lose their defensive coordinator. The Redskins have been denied permission to interview Paul Guenther, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweetsPaul Guenther (vertical)

[RELATED: Redskins Targeting Gus Bradley As DC?]

Marvin Lewis is reportedly safe in Cincinnati, but he won’t be getting another extension this offseason, making him a lame duck for 2017. In the past, Guenther has been mentioned as an internal candidate to replace Lewis, meaning that bigger things could be in store for him if the Bengals falter next season.

The Bengals finished the season 6-9-1 and their defensive DVOA (18th in the NFL) admittedly left something to be desired. Still, the Bengals placed better in the previous two seasons under Guenther and he is well-regarded by his players.

Years before he joined the Bengals’ staff, Guenther was an assistant coach with the Redskins in 2002 and 2003. The faces in D.C. have changed quite a few times since then, but owner Dan Snyder presumably has a solid relationship with him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

A.J. Hawk To Retire

A.J. Hawk is calling it a career. The linebacker tells Albert Breer of The MMQB (on Twitter) that he plans on filing retirement paperwork this offseason. A.J. Hawk (vertical)

[RELATED: Steve Smith Announces Retirement]

Hawk anchored the Packers’ linebacking core for years and barely missed a game from 2006 through 2014. While he never had gaudy sack numbers, he was a tackling machine and an integral part of the Packers’ Super Bowl winning team in the 2010 season. When he lost a step on the other side of 30, he parted ways with the Packers and found his way to the Bengals in 2015. This season, he hooked on with the Falcons, but he wound up playing in just one game.

We here at PFR wish Hawk the best in retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals CB Adam Jones Arrested

Bengals cornerback Adam Jones was arrested for three misdemeanors and a felony last night, as Paul Dehner Jr. and Kevin Grasha of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes. Jones, through his attorney during arraignment, said he “vehemently denies” the accusations brought against him. Adam Jones

[RELATED: Bengals QB A.J. McCarron Wouldn’t Oppose Trade]

It’s alleged that Jones assaulted a man by “pushing and poking” him in the eye. Cops say he refused to stop when ordered to and he refused to enter the cop car as he kicking and head-butting officers. The misdemeanor charges against him are for his alleged assault, disorderly conduct, and obstructing of official business. The felony charge is for “harassment of a member of the medical staff in the justice center with a bodily substance,” which is for spitting on a nurse at the jail.

Given Jones’ history, these charges could have serious legal ramifications and could lead to a lengthy suspension for the 2017 season. Jones is under contract with the Bengals through 2018 after signing a three-year, $22MM deal in March.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Sign Five To Reserve/Futures Contracts

Here are today’s reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters.

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

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Bengals QB A.J. McCarron Wouldn’t Oppose Trade

A.J. McCarron‘s tenure with the Bengals could be coming to an end. The backup quarterback told Jim Owczarski of Cincinnati.com that he wouldn’t be surprised or disappointed if he was traded this offseason.

AJ McCarron“Now, it’s nothing I can do,” McCarron said. “I try not to worry about it. You’re always gonna think about it. I’d be lyin’; whoever told you that I wouldn’t, or if they were going through the same situation, you’re going to think about it. Because you want to play as a competitor. I’ll let my agent handle everything and go with whatever he says.”

Despite having been in the organization for the past three years, the signal-caller indicated that he wouldn’t be upset if he was dealt elsewhere.

“No,” he said. “I definitely wouldn’t be distraught at all. Like I told Marvin (Lewis) and all my coaches in my exit meetings, I appreciate everybody in this organization. I really do. From the bottom of my heart. They gave me a chance when a lot of people wouldn’t.”

McCarron joined the organization as a fifth-round pick in the 2014 draft. The former Alabama standout had to sit out his entire rookie campaign as he recovered from a shoulder ailment, but he got several opportunities in 2015 when starter Andy Dalton went down with an injury. In the final four games of that campaign, McCarron threw for 832 yards, six touchdowns, and only two interceptions. The quarterback also got a playoff start that season, throwing for 212 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a Bengals’ loss to the Steelers.

The team got 16 games out of Dalton this season, and McCarron didn’t see the field as a result. Dalton inked a pricey six-year extension with the franchise in 2014. Since the red-head will be starting for the Bengals for the foreseeable future, it’s no surprise that McCarron would want an opportunity to start elsewhere.

Furthermore, McCarron could be an attractive trade target for teams that aren’t looking to invest big money in a quarterback. The 26-year-old will be entering the final year of his contract next season and is only owed $735K.

Owczarski believes the team’s claiming of rookie quarterback Jeff Driskel could be an indication that they’ll shop McCarron this offseason. The third-year pro also recognized that the transaction was a sign that he could be shopped.

“As a quarterback, you understand something might be happening and they’re trying to find somebody they’re possibly comfortable with. But you never know,” McCarron said. “Especially during the season, I don’t ever think about those things. I just don’t put my mind on it.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2017 NFL Draft Order

The Browns almost blew it yesterday. In the regular season finale, the Browns took the Steelers to overtime before ultimately losing 27-24. Had they won, the Browns would have been picking at No. 2 instead of the top position. Meanwhile, the Jaguars nearly slipped to No. 5, but they held their ground in the draft order when they lost 24-20 to the Colts. Phew.

The playoffs will help determine the bottom 12 picks, but the draft order has now been set for most of the NFL. Here is the list, with ties being broken by strength of schedule:

1. Browns (1-15)

2. 49ers (2-14)

3. Bears (3-13)

4. Jaguars (3-13)

5. Titans (via the 4-12 Rams)

6. Jets (5-11)

7. Chargers (5-11)

8. Panthers (6-10)

9. Bengals (6-9-1)

10. Bills (7-9)

11. Saints (7-9)

12. Browns (via the 7-9 Eagles)

13. Cardinals (7-8-1)

T-14. Eagles (via the 8-8 Minnesota Vikings)

T-14. Colts (8-8) (Note: The Vikings and Colts have identical records and the same strength of schedule. The tie will be broke by coin flip with the winner getting pick No. 14 and the other team getting the No. 15 pick.)

16. Ravens (8-8)

17. Redskins (8-7-1)

18. Titans (9-7)

19. Buccaneers (9-7)

20. Broncos (9-7)

Coaching/GM Notes, Pt. 2: Arians, Gase, Wolf

Here is Part 2 of our coaching/GM rumors post. Part 1 can be found here.

  • Despite his health concerns, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians expects to return in 2017, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). Schefter tweets that one of Arians’ top assistants, offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, is expected to interview for a head coaching job with the Rams, Jaguars, and Bills.
  • As the 49ers get prepared to search for a new head coach and GM, a ghost from the past has reared its ugly head. According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (via Twitter), San Francisco was prepared to hire current Dolphins head coach Adam Gase two years ago. The team informed Gase that he was the choice, but GM Trent Baalke intervened at the last moment and convinced ownership not to hire Gase. The 49ers chose Jim Tomsula instead, and it has been all downhill from there.
  • The Packers are not expected to make major coaching changes–although offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett could get head coaching interviews–but GM Ted Thompson could step aside and become a senior scouting adviser, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. One reason, according to Rapoport, is that Director of Football Operations Eliot Wolf is a highly-coveted football mind, and if he’s not promoted soon, Green Bay could lose him.
  • The Bengals are not expected to fire Marvin Lewis, who is signed through 2017, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. However, Lewis is not expected to get another one-year extension this offseason, which means that another disappointing campaign in 2017 could spell the end of his tenure as Cincinnati’s head coach.
  • Jets head coach Todd Bowles will likely be back for a third season, but offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is expected to be fired, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.
  • The Ravens are expected to part ways with OC Marty Mornhinweg, and assuming they do, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Greg Roman is someone to “keep an eye on.”
  • Browns coaches have “deep concerns” with the direction of the team’s personnel department and are expected to push owner Jimmy Haslam for changes in that regard, according to La Canfora. While head coach Hue Jackson is not planning to request the removal of top football man Sashi Brown, the coaching staff would like a proven, old-school talent evaluator involved in player selection to provide something of a checks-and-balance system to Brown’s analytics-based approach.
  • La Canfora suggests that, if the Lions miss the playoffs this season, GM Bob Quinn could at least think about a coaching change, and his Patriots ties could lead him to consider Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, with whom he established strong relationships during his time in New England. While I personally could imagine Quinn’s being interested in McDaniels, I cannot see Patricia as a legitimate head coaching candidate at this point.