Brandon Beane: Bengals have the advantage of Joe Burrow and Ja’Mar Chase on rookie deals

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Bills general manager Brandon Beane said one reason it’s difficult to keep pace with the Bengals is that Cincinnati has its best players on cheap rookie contracts, while Buffalo doesn’t.

“They’re in the vanguard of a new quarterback contract right now,” Beane said Joe Burrow. “They’ve had some lean years, and I don’t want to take a bad shot at getting Jammer Chase without putting too much into their structure. He’s a talent, and I’d love to get him, but you have to go through a few years to do that. They were able to get Burrow No. 1 and Chase. [No. 5] And those guys are on their new contracts. We pay Stephen Dix A pretty big number. We owe Josh Allen a huge amount. So there are cap restrictions. They have a good squad and have got some good young players. We’ll try to get as many players as we can through the draft and free agency, but again, our cap situation is a little different.

The NFL hasn’t told teams what the 2023 salary cap will be, but Beane expects the Bills to be there over the season. That means the Bills’ first priority is to make moves to get under the law rather than signing expensive free agents.

“We have to get under the cap through moves, roster cuts. . . . There’s not going to be a By Miller Signing or something like that. “We have to work to get under the cap so we can operate this year,” Bean said.

Beane said there are moves the Bills could make to reduce salary cap hits this year, but those moves would push salary cap hits into future seasons, so Beane doesn’t want to make too many moves like that.

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“I don’t want to be over the $100 million mark in two years, like we’ve seen teams do. I’m not looking to do that,” Beane said.

Burrow will sign a lucrative contract extension this year and Chase next year, so the Bengals won’t have that advantage for long. But for now, it’s an advantage for Beane to be jealous of the Bengals’ situation.

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