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September 11, 2022 vs Pittsburgh Steelers

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2022 General Free Agency Thread


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1 hour ago, ArmyBengal said:

With the 2022 cap set at a little over $208 million, the NFL is expecting the 2023 cap to raise to pre-pandemic levels and jump $12-$17 million more to between $220-$225 million.

Holy shit.  This changes a lot for the Bengals.

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Yeah the conversation about Burrow/Chase contracts and all the fawning over these recent deals rarely mention that the cap is going to sky rocket in the next 5 years.   Some are saying a fast path to $300 mil in the next 5.

It will be more about operating cash flow to cover the guarantee because there is some rule about setting it aside in escrow.

But teams with these mega deals are just getting in on the cap growth early.     I think the Browns will have land mines to side step the next offseason.  Also the Chiefs.

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So my question still stands...  When considering the coming free agents in 2023 and 2024, alongside the extensions for both Burrow and Chase (which we know will happen) how do you rank those players in their priority ??  If you haven't checked it out, the coming 2 years see a shit ton of starters potentially hitting the market in an UFA status.

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Again, these are guys to consider, alongside Burrow and Chase, knowing they will get done.
There are so many to list it's unreal, so I will just do starters for now:

2023:
FS Bates
SS Bell
CB Apple
TE Hurst
P Huber
LB Pratt

And there are others like: S Wilson, RB Perine, TE Sample, WR Irwin and more 

2024:
DE Hendrickson
DT Reader
WR Boyd
WR Higgins
CB Awuzie
OT Williams
LB Wilson

And others like: DT Tupou, WR Morgan, LB Davis-Gaither, DE Kareem, OG Adeniji and more.

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Well, just eyeballing the lists over the next few years…

2023: Would love to have Bates back but we know that’s not happening. After him, I dunno, it’s not a list of world beaters. Bell I guess. Hurst maybe, depends on this year. Pratt would be nice but he shouldn’t cost that much.

2024: This is where the shit hits the fan. Boyd, Hendrickson, Reader, Awuzie, Jonah, Higgins, Mixon and Burrow (both the last two an option year). Joe’s option will be picked up obvs. Mixon…so long and thanks for all the yards. The rest…Hendrickson, Reader and Boyd will all be 29+, (and Chido will be nearly 29) how are they holding up? So I guess Higgins and Jonah are the main targets here, maybe we can keep one more? Two?

2025: If they haven’t extended Burrow yet, here we go. No. 1 target after that is McMoney. After that, lotta older guys like Hilton, Collins, Karas and Hill. Who can still play at a high level? Then there’s the young guys, who is going to be worth extending? Carman? Ossia? Trey Hill? Evans? Cam Sample?

2026: Obvs. Chase. After that there’s Hubbard and then we start getting in to this year’s draft class, so way too soon to say.

Overall, the bottom line is, I would say, a lot depends, way to much to really figure out now. But it doesn’t really look that daunting

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So there in lies my question.  If the thought is that some will be too old and the team wants to get younger or they won't cost that much...  why not Bates ??  This is part of why I mentioned getting Bates and Hill on the field together.  Both are bigger and faster than Bell and we've already seen Hill getting snaps at the SS position. Give whatever Bell would cost in free agency to Bates and along with the Cap increasing, it would appear to make the gap between the two more feasible.  

I know I'm pipe dreaming to a degree, but again, the Chargers just gave broken Derwin James a large contract with Herbert's deal looming, while paying both WR's Allen and Williams 20 million per season. I understand things aren't apples to apples with the two teams, but this is my reason for asking what is the priority for the team and what you all think.

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Furthermore...

When considering all the other guys that are coming due, alongside Burrow and Chase, there aren't many I would consider better or of greater value than what Bates brings to the team.  Especially when considering the team's approach to the safety position historically.

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Bates is a long shot to get signed here.  Safeties degrade like almost no other position.  Bates had a bit of a step down last year.  If he repeats, the Bengals will pass on giving him 4 years.  If, as I think is likely, he reverts back to the form of his first 3 years, someone is going to give him a massive deal and it won’t be us.  Too many other spots need vet contracts, and we have two new DBs on 4 year rookie contracts.  

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If they decided to throw a bag at Bates next year I wouldn’t chirp much. They could. But you could throw that bag at Higgins instead. His deal isn’t up after this year but he does become eligible for an extension. Or Jonah. Basically, get one of the 2024s out of the way. I dunno, ask me again come FA next year.

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4 hours ago, HoosierCat said:

Well, just eyeballing the lists over the next few years…

2023: Would love to have Bates back but we know that’s not happening. After him, I dunno, it’s not a list of world beaters. Bell I guess. Hurst maybe, depends on this year. Pratt would be nice but he shouldn’t cost that much.

2024: This is where the shit hits the fan. Boyd, Hendrickson, Reader, Awuzie, Jonah, Higgins, Mixon and Burrow (both the last two an option year). Joe’s option will be picked up obvs. Mixon…so long and thanks for all the yards. The rest…Hendrickson, Reader and Boyd will all be 29+, (and Chido will be nearly 29) how are they holding up? So I guess Higgins and Jonah are the main targets here, maybe we can keep one more? Two?

2025: If they haven’t extended Burrow yet, here we go. No. 1 target after that is McMoney. After that, lotta older guys like Hilton, Collins, Karas and Hill. Who can still play at a high level? Then there’s the young guys, who is going to be worth extending? Carman? Ossia? Trey Hill? Evans? Cam Sample?

2026: Obvs. Chase. After that there’s Hubbard and then we start getting in to this year’s draft class, so way too soon to say.

Overall, the bottom line is, I would say, a lot depends, way to much to really figure out now. But it doesn’t really look that daunting

Correct.   Shit hits the fan in 2024.  The immediate window for Superbowl is 2022 and 2023.   Then you got to see what kind of job Tobin does after 2023.  

 

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4 hours ago, ArmyBengal said:

Furthermore...

When considering all the other guys that are coming due, alongside Burrow and Chase, there aren't many I would consider better or of greater value than what Bates brings to the team.  Especially when considering the team's approach to the safety position historically.

I hope Jonah moves closer to elite tackle this season.   Then Hendrickson.   My top 2 priorities after Burrow/Chase.

Burrow I think absolutely should be first removes a lot of confusion of the future with him locked in.

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On 8/23/2022 at 11:21 AM, ArmyBengal said:

2023:
FS Bates
SS Bell
CB Apple
TE Hurst
P Huber
LB Pratt

And there are others like: S Wilson, RB Perine, TE Sample, WR Irwin and more 

2024:
DE Hendrickson
DT Reader
WR Boyd
WR Higgins
CB Awuzie
OT Williams
LB Wilson

And others like: DT Tupou, WR Morgan, LB Davis-Gaither, DE Kareem, OG Adeniji and more.

When looking at next year's free agents, minus what I'm expecting from Hurst, there isn't anyone I could say is more important to the team than Bates. Even though I see value in bringing back some like Pratt and maybe Bell, I could easily give up 4-5 if it meant getting younger and applying money to Bates contract.  (Again, I don't think it's happening.)  I'm trying to will that shit !!

Regarding the following year's free agents, that's certainly decision making time. My #1 from that group would be Jonah and keeping that line together.  #2 would be Higgins.  While I would love to keep Boyd as well, I don't think that one position group can dominate so much of the cap and Stanley Morgan is also in the mix for teams consideration. #3, 4 and 5 would be Wilson, Hendrickson, and Reader respectfully.  Wilson would be a definite to keep (based upon the team's LB approach) and the other two would be predicated upon who's drafted.  I would say free agency, but I'm not sure what we've seen the last few years will be feasible after Burrow and Chase money is on the books.  

I would like to keep Awuzie as well so put him in that range as well.  There is additional hits to both the O and D lines, so these decisions not only who to bring back, but who to draft and are there Veterans to bring in that won't cost a ton will be vital to see the success continue.

Of course Burrow and Chase are priorities, but are the MUST HAVE that first year? Meaning, 2024 is his option year and while he can be offered after this season, I might be wiser to wait until after 2023. Maybe that also allows them to address some of 2024 early.  Player contracts and managing the cap are NOT things I have a great wealth of knowledge on and don't really want to.  I do enough of that at work.

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