4 reasons Bengals are big winners from salary cap jump

Each fanbase likely thinks its team emerged big winners from this week’s announcement of the 2024 NFL salary cap.

But Cincinnati Bengals fans, especially, would be right.

The 2024 salary cap is a massive upswing in the $30 million range that, as of this writing, gives the Bengals around $70 million to work with — at least $10 million more than most projections used when looking at this offseason.

For a team right in the middle of a championship window after extending a star quarterback in a massive way, every little bit helps.

Here’s a look at a few reasons the Bengals are notable winners after the reveal of the cap.

Burrow's contract

Just like that, Joe Burrow’s contract doesn’t look all that bad, does it? When guys like Trevor Lawrence, Dak Prescott and others leapfrog Burrow, his deal’s going to end up looking like a bargain. This cap raise only helps that. While other contenders build around quarterbacks who reset the market, Burrow’s deal will comfortably look affordable.

Tee Higgins

(Photo by Jeff Dean/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Dean/Getty Images)

Unless the Bengals change how they normally go about guaranteed money, this cap raise might not have an impact on the Tee Higgins outlook at all. But perhaps this newfound wiggle room makes them a little more comfortable changing up their stance — with the understanding the cap will likely only keep escalating from here.

Jonah Williams

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Williams projects to be gone, merely because it seems like the market will pay more than the Bengals are willing to cough up — especially if a team pays him as a left tackle.

That said, if Williams has a softer market than expected, a sudden $8-10 million surplus could be a chunk of change they use to keep Williams. In turn, that would keep all five starters on the line and free up the first-round pick, too.

Extra flexibility

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Bengals benefit the most from sheer flexibility now. Want another one-year veteran on the books they wouldn’t normally get? Done. Want to roll more cap over to 2025 to prep for extensions, etc.? Easy. Want to bring back an extra departing name (Chido Awuzie, DJ Reader) who they might not otherwise? Extend a core name like they did Trey Hendrickson (Mike Hilton?)? It’s possible.

Granted, these things were mostly possible before, too. But just a little more breathing room — a year before Burrow’s cap hit jumps dramatically (and they enter restructure-to-save-cap-space territory), no less — is never a bad thing.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire