The Cincinnati Bengals were very cheap this offseason, after coming off a Super Bowl appearance last season.
They rank 26th in spending during the 2022 offseason on players, only shelling out $178,977,186 in player contracts.
Compared to their Super Bowl opponents last season, the Los Angeles Rams spent $573,964,404 on player contracts in 2022.
With the numbers worlds apart between the two Super Bowl teams, it’s clear what the Bengals are doing.
They are saving their money for two players when it’s time to re-sign them.
So who are those two star players the Bengals are saving all this money for?
Joe Burrow And Ja’Marr Chase Are The Two Players They Are Saving For
You don’t have to look far to find out who’s going to get paid when the time comes in Cincinnati.
That’s why the Bengals are planning well into the future to have the money for them when the time comes to extend them.
Historically, I agree, they’ve been cheap. This time they are planning for the future. Extensions are coming up for Higgins, Burrow and Logan Wilson with Chase extension 2 years away. They’re going to have to cut ties with someone and Bates might have to be the one unfortunately
— Gage W. (@GagesWorld) July 13, 2022
However, this is a very odd move to make, with Chase just now entering his second year of his rookie contract.
While Burrow can get an extension next year, making the moves so soon makes little sense for the team.
Especially when you see how they got to the Super Bowl.
They got there with the team they had around them.
You would think they would make improvements, not cut corners.
However, this is what they chose, and it could hurt them in the end.
Will Being Cheap Hurt The Bengals In A Tough AFC North?
The AFC North isn’t lacking talent.
The Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Baltimore Ravens all have their own key players.
They will ride with those players each season, with 2022 being no different.
While the Bengals made some improvements with their front line to protect Burrow, they let some of their stars go.
The Bengals haven't replaced Ogunjobi's or Ricardo Allen's roles yet. Other than that they've at least replaced what they lost, got better, or stay the same (for now) at some positions.
— Protect Joe (@bengaIscentre) April 20, 2022
Larry Ogunjobi was one of their key linemen on that Bengals defense that helped them make the Super Bowl.
Losing him means less pressure up the middle.
That means a potential for running backs and quarterbacks to take advantage of the weakened defensive line in Cincinnati.
If they can exploit the loss of Ogunjobi, then maybe the Bengals might regret not re-signing him.
However, they kept other defensive players that were key to that Super Bowl run.
So does this mean they can still make the playoffs, and potentially the Super Bowl, this season?
Bengals Still Have Enough On Offense To Carry Them In 2022
Having Burrow, Chase, and Joe Mixon on offense gives the Bengals all they need in 2022.
While their defense might not be as good this season, they make up for it with a slightly better offense.
Look for the Bengals’ big three on offense to help carry them to victories this season.
While the defense were the helpers last season, it’s all about offense this year.
With the offense gelling together, 2022 could see both Mixon and Burrow improving on their numbers from the previous season.