The Bengals have made plenty of moves this offseason. They committed nearly $150 million to eight starters in free agency.
They also released multiple veterans, including Andy Dalton and Dre Kirkpatrick.
After an offseason full of moves, Cincinnati still has $24.1 million in cap space, which is the fifth-most in the NFL. Their seven draft picks will cost an estimated $7.6 million against the cap. That means the Bengals will still have around $16.5 million in space after they sign their entire rookie class.
This gives them the flexibility they need to sign Joe Mixon and/or A.J. Green to contract extensions. They could also use that money to make a run at a free agent offensive tackle like Jason Peters.
The decision to decline John Ross' fifth-year option was expected. He's dealt with injuries in each of his first three seasons in the NFL.
Ross has the potential to be a game changing player. He had seven touchdowns in 2018, despite being in Marvin Lewis' doghouse.
Last year he got off to a hot start. He was on pace to finish with 1,312 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns through four games. Unfortunately for him and the Bengals, his health derailed what was a promising start to his 2019 campaign.
Ross missed eight games after suffering a sternoclavicular (shoulder) injury against the Steelers in Week 4.
The former first-round pick has a high ceiling. He needs to put it all together this season.
Ross' fourth year at Washington was by far his best year for the Huskies. He exploded for 81 receptions, 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns. That year is the biggest reason the Bengals took him with the No. 9 pick in the 2017 draft
Ross enters his fourth year in the NFL hoping to make a similar impact in Cincinnati.
The Daltons in Dallas
Andy Dalton signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday.
The three-time Pro Bowler couldn't pass up a chance to return to Texas. The Dalton family has an offseason home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
It's a perfect landing spot for Dalton. He can be Dak Prescott's backup, live close to family and bide his time until next offseason. There's a realistic chance that Dalton is the best quarterback on the free agent market in 2021. He'll certainly be one of the most accomplished.
Dalton is good enough to compete for a starting job in the NFL. He won't do with the Cowboys, but that doesn't mean his days as a starter are finished. A pit stop in Dallas could be exactly what he needs to rebuild his value and sign a long-term deal with another team next season.
If Dalton does get a chance to play, he'll have one of the best supporting casts in the league.
Dalton isn't a great quarterback, but that doesn't mean he won't be successful moving forward. Don't be shocked if he's a starting quarterback in 2021.
In the meantime, Bengals fans can save their '14' jerseys and wear them when Dalton and the Cowboys visit Cincinnati this season.