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Good read on free agency spending


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It would stand to reason that the players taking up the most cap space in the NFL got to that point by being one of the best in the game.

To an extent, yes, but that doesn't have much to do with free agency except in rare cases. Usually the highest-paid guys (like Ngata, whom the article cites as an example, or Flacco, another example provided) got their money from teams they were already playing for. Elite talents very, very, very rarely make it into free agency -- and if they do they are almost always tagged.

What happens in free agency is that teams "overpay" for mid-tier talent. I put overpay in quotes because I think it's a mischaracterization (and one the Bengals routinely use to avoid playing in free agency) but that's an old argument of mine I'm sure no one wants to hear again. Suffice it to say that it's just the nature of free agency. It's how Anthony Collins gets $30 million.

However, over a 13-year sample size, the teams with the highest-paid players only won 52.24 percent of their games. That’s just a 2.24 percent improvement above the league average.

Parity is a bitch, ain't it? Still, in a 16-game season even a slight edge is a big deal.

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It would be interesting to see how that average would move it they took the Cowboys and Redskins out of the equation. They spent a lot of money but have little to show for it. Dallas had a good year but it had been awhile since they had been to the playoffs.

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CJ breaks down cap space league-wide over the next two years. The Bengals have about $120 million in cap space between this year and next year.


While there are a lot of place this money needs to be spent -- they don't have many players under contract beyond this season, which is why they have so much room in 2016 -- the bottom line is that they have plenty of room to maneuver if they so choose.

FA isn't about money, it's about will. Unfortunately, the FO isn't exactly the Green Lantern corps...

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