Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Bengals beef up offensive line without changing their outdated contract structure

The good news for Joe Burrow is that the Bengals added a pair of offensive linemen on Monday. The bad news is that the Bengals still haven’t deviated from an outdated approach to the structure of veteran contracts.

The deals to be signed by guard Alex Cappa and and center Ted Karras do not have fully-guaranteed money beyond the first year.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Cappa contract has a base value of $35 million over four years. The deal pays a $9 million signing bonus and a $2 million guaranteed roster bonus in 2022. There are no other guarantees in the deal.

The contract otherwise has a base salary of $1.5 million in 2022, along with non-guaranteed base salaries of $5.5 million, $6 million, and $7 million in 2023, 2024, and 2025, respectively.

The contract also includes up to $500,000 in per-game active roster bonuses per year, and annual workout bonuses of $500,000.

Cappa also can earn $1 million in each of the four seasons of the deal, if he makes it to the Pro Bowl.

Karras will sign a there-year, $18 million contract. It has a $3 million signing bonus and a $2 million 2022 roster bonus. Beyond the $5 million, there are no guarantees.

Karras otherwise will receive non-guaranteed salaries of $1.6 million in 2022, $4 million in 2023, and $5.8 million in 2024. (Obviously, the 2022 salary is as a practical matter guaranteed.)

Karras can earn up to $300,000 annually in per-game rotes bonuses, and $100,000 each year in workout bonuses.

It’s unclear whether the Bengals were serious suitors for the likes of Brandon Scherff and Ryan Jensen. However, the persistent resistance to guaranteeing money beyond the first year of the deal would have made it much harder to attract the biggest names on the 2022 market, if they even tried.