Cincinnati Bengals executives may be shaking their heads after recent developments in the free agency market.
Davante Adams started the frenzy with a five-year, $141.25 million extension with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Then Tyreek Hill agreed to a four-year, $120 million contract with the Miami Dolphins.
Stefon Diggs followed with a four-year, $104 million extension with the Buffalo Bills.
They will also receive $65 million, $72.2 million, and $70 million in guaranteed money, respectively.
As ESPN’s Field Yates pointed out, those amounts should dictate the Bengals’ moves.
Ja’Marr Chase isn’t even eligible for an extension until 2024, but the Bengals should start creating cap space now.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 6, 2022
Yates tweeted, “Ja’Marr Chase isn’t even eligible for the extension until 2024, but the Bengals should start creating cap space now.”
It’s a valid point, even though the Bengals have two more seasons to offer Chase an extension.
He deserves the money those Pro Bowl receivers will get, especially if he keeps up the momentum from his impressive rookie season.
Chase earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors by finishing with 81 receptions, 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns.
His emergence helped Cincinnati complete the transformation from perennial losers to Super Bowl LVI contenders.
Chase’s $7 million cap reached for the 2022 season is a huge boon as they hope to return to title play.
However, he’s not the only one the Bengals think about when they start clearing space.
Joe Burrow is up for an extension
Joe Burrow will enter his third season in the NFL, which is crucial as Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes got their massive third-year extensions.
Like Chase, his $9 million cap and $3.9 million base salary are a boon for the Bengals.
But if he continues to play well, Burrow can also command the same amount of money his fellow AFC quarterbacks got.
If he wins MVP in the next two seasons, it’s worth getting Aaron Rodgers’ money.
Therefore, the Bengals would have to accept the possibility that a large portion of their salary cap would be spent on just two players.
There is no other solution because the market has already dictated the values.