Bengals Rumors

2023 NFL Cap Space, By Team

The start of June has served as a key NFL financial period for decades. While teams no longer have to wait until after June 1 to make that cost-splitting cut designation, teams pick up the savings from those transactions today. With a handful of teams making post-June 1 cuts this year, here is how each team’s cap space (courtesy of OverTheCap) looks as of Friday:

  1. Chicago Bears: $32.58MM
  2. Carolina Panthers: $27.25MM
  3. Arizona Cardinals: $26.68MM
  4. New York Jets: $24.79MM
  5. Detroit Lions: $23.72MM
  6. Indianapolis Colts: $23.39MM
  7. Dallas Cowboys: $20.48MM
  8. Houston Texans: $16.81MM
  9. Green Bay Packers: $16.57MM
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers: $15.73MM
  11. Cincinnati Bengals: $14.92MM
  12. New Orleans Saints: $14.27MM
  13. New England Patriots: $14.12MM
  14. Miami Dolphins: $13.9MM
  15. Cleveland Browns: $13.86MM
  16. Philadelphia Eagles: $13.85MM
  17. Los Angeles Chargers: $12.61MM
  18. Jacksonville Jaguars: $12MM
  19. Washington Commanders: $11.57MM
  20. Baltimore Ravens: $11.54MM
  21. San Francisco 49ers: $10.72MM
  22. Atlanta Falcons: $10.7MM
  23. Denver Broncos: $10.13MM
  24. Minnesota Vikings: $9.75MM
  25. Tennessee Titans: $7.99MM
  26. Seattle Seahawks: $7.94MM
  27. New York Giants: $3.82MM
  28. Las Vegas Raiders: $3.37MM
  29. Los Angeles Rams: $1.49MM
  30. Buffalo Bills: $1.4MM
  31. Kansas City Chiefs: $653K
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $402K

The Dolphins gained the most from a post-June 1 cut (Byron Jones) this year, creating $13.6MM in cap space from a deal that will spread out the cornerback’s dead money through 2024. But the Browns (John Johnson, Jadeveon Clowney) and Cowboys (Ezekiel Elliott) created more than $10MM in space as well.

The Jets’ number is a bit deceiving. They are still working on a restructure with Aaron Rodgers, as the trade acquisition’s cap number — after a Packers restructure — sits at just $1.22MM. In 2024, that number skyrockets to $107.6MM. Rodgers’ cap hit will almost definitely will climb before Week 1, so viewing the Jets along with the other teams north of $20MM in space is not entirely accurate.

Minnesota is moving closer to separating from its $12.6MM-per-year Dalvin Cook contract. The team already created some space by trading Za’Darius Smith to the Browns. Cleveland, which is one of the teams connected to DeAndre Hopkins, added Smith and did so with help from its Deshaun Watson restructure. Watson was set to count $54.9MM against the Browns’ 2023 cap. That number is down to $19.1MM, though the Browns’ restructure both ballooned Watson’s mid-2020s cap figures to $63.9MM — which would shatter the NFL record — and added a 2027 void year.

Tampa Bay and Los Angeles sit atop the league in dead money, with the Bucs — largely from their April 2022 Tom Brady restructure — checking in at $75.3MM here. That total comprises nearly 33% of the Bucs’ 2023 cap sheet. The Rams, at more than $74MM, are not far behind. Despite the Bills and Chiefs — the teams most frequently tied to Hopkins — joining the Bucs and Rams near the bottom of the league in cap space, both AFC contenders also sit in the bottom five in dead money.

Tyler Boyd Addresses Contract Situation

In February, Tyler Boyd wondered about his status on the 2023 Bengals. Three months later, the wide receiver can rest easier. He remains on Cincinnati’s roster, with the team preparing to run it back — perhaps for the final time — with its elite wideout trio.

Boyd is heading into the final season of his four-year, $43MM contract. With Tee Higgins now extension-eligible and both Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase on paths toward position-record contracts, Boyd may soon become a luxury the franchise can no longer afford. While the veteran slot receiver is open to a deal that keeps him in Cincinnati beyond 2023, he is far from certain that will come to pass.

This is my home for now. I’m not going to worry about the unexpected. I’m here to finish this year out, and whatever happens, happens,” Boyd said, via The Athletic’s Jay Morrison (subscription required). “But I know we have a very, very high chance of making the Super Bowl and even winning, and this is where I want to be. Whether I come up with a new deal or not, I got to just go out there, and I’m gonna be me.

I am very appreciative of them still wanting me to be around and knowing that they don’t want to trade me and things like that. I might not be here forever. But I’ve always loved this franchise, and I’m always going to be a Bengal.”

Bengals VP of player personnel Duke Tobin emphatically shot down Higgins trade rumors at the Combine, and Burrow extension talks have begun. Chase is not yet eligible for a new deal, and the Bengals can potentially delay those talks until 2025 due to the fifth-year option that will be exercised next May. With even Higgins not a lock to be extended, as that will come at a high price, Boyd’s place in line might dictate he secures his third contract elsewhere.

The Bengals extended Boyd before the arrivals of Burrow, Higgins and Chase, locking him down ahead of Zac Taylor‘s first season as HC in 2019. The former second-round pick has not missed more than one game in a season since signing his extension — though, the thigh bruise that knocked him out early in the AFC championship game proved costly for the Bengals — and has ripped off five straight 700-plus-yard receiving seasons. He wrapped 2022 with 762 yards and five touchdown receptions. Boyd will turn 29 later this year and would stand to be in line for a nice third contract, which seems more likely than not to come in free agency.

Next year’s receiver UFA class may be more crowded than this year’s moderately talented crop, but Boyd could benefit from other teams keeping starters off the market. Mike Evans is entering a contract year, while Calvin Ridley and Marquise Brown are tied to fifth-year options. The Broncos, Cowboys and 49ers took their 2020 first-rounders (Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Brandon Aiyuk) out of the equation by exercising their respective 2024 options; the Bengals nabbing Higgins in Round 2 did not give them that transaction choice. Higgins could become next year’s top receiver free agent, though the Bengals would have the franchise tag at their disposal. They want to extend the ex-Clemson standout, but no known talks have commenced.

The team retained A.J. Green via the tag in 2020, months after extending Boyd. A backloaded Burrow contract and Chase playing 2024 on his rookie deal keeps the door open for a Higgins 2024 tag — one likely north of $20MM. The Bengals’ fourth-round selection of slot receiver Charlie Jones in Round 4 adds another impediment toward a Boyd extension. Boyd does not expect the Bengals to consider another deal for him until the Higgins matter is resolved.

I know we’ve got to get deals done with important players like Joe and Tee,” Boyd said. “I’m good with money. I just want to see the guys that deserve it get paid. What happens in the future — hopefully, it works out for me.”

From a big-picture standpoint, a compelling stretch lies ahead for the Bengals’ receiving group. For now, however, they are set to enter another season with the Chase-Higgins-Boyd trio surrounding Burrow. Other teams will undoubtedly be interested in how the franchise proceeds with its Nos. 2 and 3 targets.

Each NFL Franchise’s Richest QB Contract

The quarterback market has moved again this offseason. A year after Aaron Rodgers raised the average annual value bar past $50MM, Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson did so on long-term extensions. Overall, four teams have authorized the most lucrative QB deal in their respective histories this offseason. Two more — the Bengals and Chargers — are in talks about record-setting extensions as well.

On that note, here is the richest quarterback contract each team has authorized. Although teams like the Jets and Lions have acquired big-ticket contracts via trade, only teams’ extensions or free agency agreements will qualify here.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

  • Jay Cutler, January 2014. Seven years, $126.7MM. $38MM fully guaranteed

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Carson Palmer, December 2005. Six years, $97MM. $30.8MM fully guaranteed

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

In trading this contract to the Jets in April, the Packers restructured the deal. Rodgers’ exit will still tag the Pack with $40.3MM in 2023 dead money.

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Carr’s second Raiders deal — agreed to in April 2022 — was worth $40.5MM per year. The full guarantee, thanks to the February escape hatch the team built into the contract, checked in lower than Carr’s initial Raiders extension.

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Cousins’ 2020 extension checked in with a higher AAV ($33MM) but did not approach his initial Minnesota pact for guarantees.

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Chad Pennington, September 2004. Seven years, $64MM. $23MM guaranteed.

The Jets have signed three quarterbacks to deals involving more guaranteed money, but each of those contracts — for Mark Sanchez (2009), Sam Darnold (2018) and Zach Wilson (2021) — was a rookie pact.

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Latest On Extension Talks Between Bengals, Joe Burrow

The top priority remaining for the Bengals this offseason is getting a deal done with quarterback Joe Burrow. The team’s franchise signal-caller is taking a hands-on approach during negotiations, which remain ongoing.

Contract talks began in March, to no surprise. The 26-year-old has put himself in line for one of several mega-deals at the position which have been signed in recent years, including Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson eclipsing the $50MM-per-year mark on their new contracts signed in 2023. Those pacts represent further benchmarks for Burrow’s second contract, which will likewise come with a hefty pricetag given his level of play and importance to the franchise’s string of success.

“I’m involved. That’s in the works,” Burrow said of extension talks, via Eric Edholm of“That’s not really something that I like to play out in the media. Just the way I think they want to do business, I want to do business, we prefer to keep that between us.”

The former No. 1 pick has one year remaining on his rookie contract, and he will be tied to a 2024 salary of $29.5MM given the Bengals’ decision to pick up his fifth-year option. While that leaves both parties plenty of time to work out a deal, Cincinnati has a number of other young contributors due signficant raises in the near future, something which could provide added urgency to establish clarity on how much Burrow will cost through the foreseeable future. When speaking on that point, the latter acknowledged that contracts for other financial priorities are still a “focal point” for him during his negotiations.

Wideout Tee Higgins was mentioned in trade rumors this offseason given the team’s need to extend not only Burrow, but also fellow pass-catcher Ja’Marr Chase as early as 2024. Higgins will remain with the Bengals for this season, but he and linebacker Logan Wilson headline the players seeking new contracts this summer. Sorting out how (if at all) they can keep their entire young core intact will go a long way in determining the Bengals’ success for years to come, but finalizing a new Burrow pact represents an obvious first step.

“I’m pretty clear on what I want in the contract and what I think is best for myself and the team,” Burrow added when asked about specifics during extension talks. “So we’re on the road to making that happen.”

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Steelers, Ossai

Lamar Jackson‘s foray as his own agent involved years of proposals and counterproposals, and while the former MVP received criticism for playing out his rookie contract, the Ravens rewarded their centerpiece player with a record-setting deal. That $52MM-per-year contract includes $135MM fully guaranteed. While that is not in the Deshaun Watson stratosphere — a range Jackson sought to enter — it places the sixth-year veteran second for full guarantees. One of Jackson’s proposals along the way included a three-year, $156MM fully guaranteed deal, Albert Breer of notes. The Ravens did not relent on term length, but Jackson’s proposal probably factored into the final result. By March 2024, Jackson will see his guarantee total balloon to $156MM.

The Ravens made a seismic bet Jackson (11 missed games since 2021) will stay healthy, as this contract locks them in through 2025 at least. Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • While the Steelers drafted Joey Porter Jr. 32nd overall, he was in consideration for their first-round selection. Had the Steelers not traded up to draft tackle Broderick Jones at No. 14, The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly notes they likely would have chosen Porter at 17 (subscription required). Teams often paint rosy pictures of their draft plans in the aftermath, but Porter — who visited the Steelers’ facility, a place he is quite familiar with due to his father’s history with the team — was viewed as a first-round talent who slipped a bit. The Steelers did make it known the 32nd pick was available, and as Will Levis also fell out of Round 1, they received multiple offers. But they now have Jones and Porter in the fold.
  • Joseph Ossai‘s final-seconds hit on Patrick Mahomes may well have denied the Bengals a second straight Super Bowl berth, giving the Chiefs a better chance of avoiding overtime. Following Harrison Butker‘s game-winning field goal, Ossai headed toward a rehab-filled offseason. The edge rusher suffered a torn left shoulder labrum during a December game against the Browns and played hurt the rest of the way. Ossai, who had rebounded from a full-season rookie absence (due to a meniscus injury) to play 19 games last season, is expected to be ready for training camp, Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets.
  • When the Steelers brought Bud Dupree in for a visit, they wanted to re-sign their former first-round pick back to a two-year deal, Kaboly adds. A previous report indicated the Steelers did not discuss terms with Dupree, but it does appear the club had a preferred contract range — one that would have helped keep the edge rusher’s 2023 cap number low. Dupree signed a one-year, $3MM Falcons deal that could spike to $5MM.
  • On the subject of contracts that did come to pass, Rock Ya-Sin‘s one-year Ravens deal will be worth $4MM. That amount is fully guaranteed, according to OverTheCap. This will give the former Colts and Raiders cornerback a chance to re-establish his value for a possible 2024 free agency bid.
  • Shifting back to Pittsburgh, the Steelers will see some front office turnover. Mark Gorscak, who has been with the team for 28 years, will retire from his scouting post this offseason, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes. Also known for his role as the Combine’s 40-yard dash starter, Gorscak follows another Steelers staffer in place since the 1990s — assistant coach John Mitchell — as mainstays departing the team this offseason.
  • The Steelers are hiring former Raiders southeast area scout Zack Crockett to work in the same capacity, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets. Crockett, who enjoyed a 13-year career (mostly with the Raiders) as a fullback, spent the past 14 years as a Raiders scout. Las Vegas’ Dave Ziegler– and Josh McDaniels-led regime parted ways with Crockett, 50, earlier this offseason.

Bengals, Jaguars Held Jonah Williams Trade Talks

At least one known Jonah Williams suitor has surfaced. During an offseason in which Jawaan Taylor bolted for Kansas City and Cam Robinson received a PED suspension, the Jaguars showed interest in the disgruntled Bengals tackle.

The Bengals and Jaguars discussed a Williams trade, Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports (on Twitter). These discussions commenced before the draft, and Jacksonville’s draft blueprint looks to have changed its outlook at the tackle position. The Jags made a concerted effort to use their late-first-round real estate to come away with Oklahoma prospect Anton Harrison. The team doing that (and picking up draft capital via trade-down maneuvers with the Giants and Bills) probably removed a Williams buyer from the equation.

This would have been an interesting fit for Williams, whose trade request came just after big-ticket Bengals free agent signing Orlando Brown Jr. displaced him at left tackle. While the NFL hit Robinson with the PED ban — the length of which remains unknown — and the six-year left tackle starter is coming off a late-season meniscus tear, he will presumably be back at some point before midseason. These circumstances would have left Williams as a potential right-side solution for the Jags, who have since obtained Harrison to man that post.

As it stands now, Williams is on track to stay with the Bengals. The team has long been prepared to move its three-year blindside starter to right tackle, and Conway adds the former first-round pick is expected to report to the Bengals’ minicamp and begin his reluctant run on the right side.

Williams resides in a tough spot, being effectively demoted ahead of his contract year. The Bengals’ top O-lineman during their Super Bowl LVI charge, Williams suffered a dislocated kneecap that kept him off the field for the 2022 Bengals’ final two games. The Chiefs pounced on a Bengals line missing Williams, La’el Collins and Alex Cappa. With the Chiefs’ former left tackle in the fold, Williams, Collins and postseason left tackle sub Jackson Carman are ticketed for an unusual position battle.

Other teams will undoubtedly be monitoring Williams and Collins’ situations, considering the loser of this competition may become available via trade. Collins signed a three-year, $21MM contract in 2022, but the Bengals were not thrilled with the longtime Cowboy’s Cincy debut. Williams is going into his fifth-year option season, at $12.6MM, and stands to be one of the 2024 free agent market’s better O-linemen available. Two seasons remains on Carman’s rookie deal.

Bengals Add 13 UDFAs

After making eight picks during the draft, the Bengals announced yesterday that they’ve added 13 undrafted free agents:

Jaxson Kirkland is one of the most intriguing UDFAs in the NFL. He considered declaring for both of the previous two drafts, and he was considered a top OT prospect for the 2022 selection show. However, a severe ankle injury forced him to opt out of that draft, and despite being productive during another season at Washington, he ended up going undrafted this year. The lineman’s versatility could make him an interesting piece on Cincinnati’s depth chart.

Despite adding Chase Brown in the draft, the Bengals still added a pair of RBs in free agency. Jacob Saylors starred at ETSU, finishing his 2022 season with 1,355 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Calvin Tyler Jr. also had a productive final two seasons at Utah State, scoring 15 total touchdowns. The Bengals could give a long look at each of these rookies to be the primary backup to Joe Mixon.

If Cincinnati does eventually look to break up their trio of top wideouts, they’d be looking for inexpensive reinforcement elsewhere. The team used a pair of draft picks on wide receivers, but they also added three UDFAs at the position. Mac Hippenhammer was the most productive of the undrafted grouping; he had 1,555 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns over the past two seasons for Miami of Ohio.

Bengals Finish Draft Class With Wave Of Signings

Trailing only the 49ers and Cowboys (who didn’t have a pick in the first two rounds to sign), the Bengals were the third team this year to announce the signing of their entire rookie class. All this despite only having signed one pick coming into today, announcing the second before noon earlier in the day. Having already agreed to rookie deals with first-round defensive end Myles Murphy and fifth-round running back Chase Brown, the team’s announcement today reveals the signing of six other draft picks.

Cincinnati double-dipped on outside playmakers on both sides of the ball in this year’s draft. They used their second-round pick to select Michigan cornerback DJ Turner and their seventh-round pick on Miami cornerback DJ Ivey. Turner provides some immediate starting ability on both the perimeter and at nickel. Ivey may not project as an immediate starter, but he has an ideal frame and can contribute if given enough opportunity. Also in the secondary, third-round safety Jordan Battle should be able to compete with Daxton Hill for a starting spot alongside Nick Scott in the defensive backfield.

They doubled-up on wide receivers, as well, selecting Purdue’s Charlie Jones in the fourth round and Princeton’s Andrei Iosivas in the sixth. The Bengals are pretty set in their starting wideouts with Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd, but Jones and Iosivas provide some strong backup options. Jones, a former walk-on at Iowa who led the country in receptions last year at Purdue, should have a strong path to a roster spot as a backup receiver and returner. He should be able to challenge Trent Taylor and Trayveon Williams for returning duties on both punts and kicks. Iosivas provides the Cincinnati offense with yet another tall, lengthy receiving option on the outside.

In the sixth round, the Bengals also went after Michigan punter Brad Robbins. The team relied on practice squad punter Drue Chrisman last year after moving on from long-time punter Kevin Huber. Robbins should provide some strong competition for Chrisman for the starting punter duties. Here is Cincinnati’s 2023 draft class:

Round 1, No. 28: Myles Murphy, DE (Clemson) (signed)
Round 2, No. 60: DJ Turner, CB (Michigan) (signed)
Round 3, No. 95 (from Chiefs): Jordan Battle, S (Alabama) (signed)
Round 4, No. 131: Charlie Jones, WR (Purdue) (signed)
Round 5, No. 163: Chase Brown, RB (Illinois) (signed)
Round 6, No. 206: Andrei Iosivas, WR (Princeton) (signed)
Round 6, No. 217 (from Chiefs): Brad Robbins, P (Michigan) (signed)
Round 7, No. 246: DJ Ivey, CB (Miami) (signed)

Bengals Sign First-Round DE Myles Murphy

The Bengals have become the latest team to sign their top pick to his rookie contract. Myles Murphy has agreed to terms with Cincinnati on his four-year deal (with a fifth year in place as a team option), per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Murphy was one of the top edge rushing options in this year’s deep class, though it remained in doubt whether he would hear his name called on Day 1 following his third and final season at Clemson. Murphy took a step back in terms of production in 2022 with 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss after those totals checked in at 8.0 and 14.5, respectively, the previous campaign.

Members of the Tigers’ defense collectively saw a drop in production, though, and the flashes Murphy showed as a sophomore gave him a notably high ceiling both as a pass-rusher and run defender. It was thus not considered a shock when he was selected No. 28 overall by the Bengals. Cincinnati was quiet on the edge rushing front in free agency, leaving many to expect them to address the position via the draft.

By doing so and adding Murphy, the Bengals have given themselves a high-upside contributor to compliment veterans Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. The latter two combined for 14.5 sacks last season, and the Bengals as a whole registered only 30. Murphy should be expected to fill a rotational role as a rookie, but if is able to translate his earlier Clemson success into similar production at the NFL level, the 6-5, 275-pounder could grow into an impact starter off the edge.

Murphy is only the second draftee to be signed so far by the Bengals, with fifth-round running back Chase Brown being the first. Cincinnati focused on the defensive side of the ball with each of their first three picks, and Murphy’s performance at the NFL level will go a long way in determining whether that approach was a sound one.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/9/23

Teams are moving quickly on inking their Day 3 draftees to their four-year rookie deals, with this process involving a slot system that does not feature many complications for late-round players. Here are the latest such agreements to commence:

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

  • OL Colby Sorsdal (fifth round, William & Mary)

Jacksonville Jaguars

New England Patriots

Seattle Seahawks

An additional quintet of fifth-round picks is now under contract. Last year, the slot system pegged Round 5’s contracts between $4.1MM and $3.9MM over four years, with full guarantees ranging from $361K to $243K.

Brown finished his Fighting Illini tenure with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, including a 1,643-yard slate as a senior. He joins a Bengals team that did not outbid the Broncos for Samaje Perine and had been expected to ask Joe Mixon for a pay cut. Post-draft, Zac Taylor issued a vote of confidence for Mixon to be back. Abdullah combined to tally 19.5 sacks and 31 tackles for loss during his final two seasons at Louisville.