The Cleveland Browns entered free agency with the highest available cap space in the NFL. Several weeks into free agency, which included spending big on the likes of Paul Kruger and Desmond Bryant, guess where the Browns sit in terms of available cap space? Second, and they are just a hair behind the Cincinnati Bengals for having the most amount of cap space.
According to NFL.com, the Browns have about $28.79 million in available cap space. That figure does not take into account the recent signings of quarterback Jason Campbell and punter Jake Schum, so the cap space might be closer to $27 million now, which would still leave them in second place. My personal estimate from March 19th ended up being pretty close.
Over The Cap estimates that the Browns, with the draft picks they have, will have a rookie pool allocation of about $5.39 million. That still gives Cleveland $23.4 million to work with if they need it to sign someone like Brent Grimes. Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com predicted what the Browns could do with that money:
Jason Campbell's contract will chip away at this total and the Browns probably aren't done signing free agents. (Brent Grimes?) Still, there aren't a lot of candidates on the roster for extensions. Center Alex Mack is a strong guess; cornerback Joe Haden is another possibility. Haden's deal doesn't run out until after 2014.
That sounds about right, and it would fit in with what Jimmy Haslam said back at the NFL Annual League Meetings.