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Breaking Down the Bengals 2009 Salary Cap

ESPN’s Insider section just did a full-scale blowout about the salary cap for each and every team around the league. Here’s what they had to say on the Bengals:

2009 salary cap: $127,997,000
Player with highest cap number: QB Carson Palmer ($14,300,000; 11.2 percent of cap)
Highest cap number for a player no longer with club: LT Levi Jones ($5,466,668; 4.3 percent of cap; fifth-highest on club)
Player who has to live up to cap number: DE Antwan Odom ($5,200,000; 4.1 percent of cap; sixth-highest on club)

After a 2008 season in which he had 53 receptions for 540 yards, one could easily say that wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has the most work to do in Cincinnati to justify his $7,915,374 2009 cap number. But in his first three seasons in the NFL, as a member of the Titans, defensive end Antwan Odom totaled 4.5 sacks. In 2007, Odom’s contract year, he tallied 8.5 sacks for the Titans — thanks in part to his place alongside Albert Haynesworth, who constantly drew double-teams. In the 2008 offseason, the Bengals signed him to a contract with $11.5 million guaranteed. Among defensive ends, only Jared Allen, Will Smith and Justin Smith received more in guaranteed money last offseason. For that $11.5 million, the Bengals got three sacks. Clearly there is a difference between playing alongside Haynesworth and Domata Peko, who is a good player, but is generally double-teamed only by hairstylists.

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