James Walker of ESPN.com posted the salary cap situations of every AFC North team. The Bengals are a reported $35.9 million under the cap and will have to spend a good portion of that if the salary floor rises as expected. So what is the team to do? Well, if it were me, I’d start by investing heavily in cornerback Johnathan Joseph. Here’s why:
1) With Joseph, you know what you’re getting. Cincinnati’s history with free agent signings is rather abysmal. I’d much rather spend – and overspend if needed – to keep a player who has been productive in Cincinnati and actually wants to be there. Plus, you can never go wrong with having two talented cornerbacks. With Joseph and Leon Hall opposite him, Cincinnati could be competitive even as it experiences a major upheaval on offense.
2) Cincinnati’s cap room could go even higher if Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco are traded. Thus, they’re going to be forced to spend significant money. They might as well do it wisely.
3) Re-signing Joseph won’t prevent the team from keeping Leon Hall either. Once Palmer is gone, whether this year or next, the team is going to experience a huge savings with Andy Dalton, who will come much cheaper as a second-rounder in this new era with a rookie wage scale. The team should be in a good salary cap situation for years to come.
4) The team could use some consistency somewhere. The safety position is unsettled, as is nickel corner with the legal issues of Adam Jones. Last year’s middle linebacker isn’t expected to be a starter this year and there will be some new faces on the defensive line as well. Thus, it makes sense to return some part of the defense intact. Re-signing Joseph would do just that.
Now, if someone could pass this along to Mike Brown and our general manager – oh wait, nevermind – I’d appreciate it.
Click the image to read Walker’s entire article