The Cincinnati Bengals have franchised tagged AJ Green. That was the move that fans were waiting for, but for those wanting to see more action from the Bengals in free agency, they’ll have to wait.
The Bengals, who gave Green in the ballpark of $18 million for the upcoming season, have under $5 million in cap space until they shed Andy Dalton’s contract. The Bengals are expected to move on from Dalton.
With the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bengals are expected to secure Joe Burrow, the Heisman trophy winner from LSU. His presence will force Dalton, the team’s quarterback for almost a decade, out.
It wasn’t just that the Bengals gave Green the tag, but they also tendered four restricted free agents. That has decimated their cap space.
With a team that won just two games and has many holes, having that space to add more talent is paramount. However, the Bengals will have room to improve with a few pick in the top 40.
That said, Any Dalton is set to make $17.5 million in 2020.
That type of money is given to a star quarterback, and although his line and receivers weren’t great in 2019, neither was Dalton, throwing just 16 touchdowns to go with 14 interceptions in what was arguably the rockiest season of his career.
Dalton has given to the city, and by that, he’s become a fan favorite. So, while many are ready to see him go, there are a handful also saddened by the thought of not have the Red Rifle in the Queen City.
The only thing that should hold the Bengals up is the fact that they want to trade Dalton and seem unlikely to outright cut him. But, with free agency starting to heat up, we’ll have to see what the front office is going to do to make this a playoff-contending team in 2020.