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Cincinnati Bengals 2021 free agency outlook

The Bengals head into 2021 free agency coming off an 4-11-1 season. We break down their free agents, cap space, and more.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals will have some key decisions to make relatively soon on a few big-name free agents. There were 29 players on the 2020 Cincinnati roster that are free agents heading into the offseason. Longtime Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green is a free agent, and we’ll see how the front office values him. On the defensive side, the Bengals will have plenty of decisions to make including what to do with cornerbacks William Jackson III and Mackensie Alexander as well as edge rusher Carl Lawson.

Lost revenue due to COVID-19 will impact every team, but with so many free agents the likely drop in the league wide salary cap number could make things difficult. The 2020 number was around $198 million, while the 2021 number could drop to $180.5 million according to Over The Cap, but is subject to change.

Franchise/Transition Tag possibilities

It will be interesting to see whether or not the Bengals opt to put any of their free agents on a franchise tag this offseason. The two potential options for this designation would be Jackson and Lawson as the two most talented free agents on the roster, though both could be seeking long-term deals.

Green played last season on the franchise tag and saw a dip in production. He played in all 16 games but caught just 47 passes on 104 targets for 523 yards and a pair of touchdowns. In addition, receivers John Ross and Alex Erickson are free agents.

Salary cap

Estimated 2021 cap space: $33,337,130

2021 transactions

Free agent signings


Free agent departures




Notable unrestricted free agents

* Denotes Restricted Free Agent (RFA)

Bengals 2021 Free Agents

Pos Player 2020 Team 2021 Team
Pos Player 2020 Team 2021 Team
QB Brandon Allen Bengals
RB Samaje Perine Bengals
WR A.J. Green Bengals
WR Mike Thomas Bengals
WR Alex Erickson Bengals
WR John Ross Bengals
TE Cethan Carter Bengals
RG Alex Redmond Bengals
LG Quinton Spain Bengals
EDGE Carl Lawson Bengals
DT Margus Hunt Bengals
DT Mike Daniels Bengals
DT Xavier Williams Bengals
DE Christian Covington Bengals
LB Josh Bynes Bengals
LB Jordan Evans Bengals
CB William Jackson III Bengals
CB Mackensie Alexander Bengals
CB LeShaun Sims Bengals
CB Tony Brown* Bengals
S Shawn Williams Bengals
S Brandon Wilson Bengals
LS Clark Harris Bengals
K Randy Bullock Bengals
P Kevin Huber Bengals