According to NFL writer Brian McIntyre, three players on the Cleveland Browns earned a "proven performance escalator" for 2014, which will see an increase in their base salary. What is a proven performance escalator? It applies to players selected anywhere between rounds 3-7 of the NFL Draft who have met one of the following criteria:
- played in 35% of the snaps in two of his first three seasons
- posted of cumulative average of 35% of snaps in his first three seasons
Since the criteria waits three years, that means we have to look back at players from the 2011 NFL Draft. McIntyre reports that TE Jordan Cameron, CB Buster Skrine, and OL Jason Pinkston each earned the escalator. Cameron and Skrine played the majority of possible snaps in 2013 as full-time starters, and each saw enough reps in previous seasons to warrant the escalator. Pinkston did not play much in 2013 due to injury, but would have earned the escalator anyway since he was a starter during his first two seasons.
Each player was set to make $645,000 as their base salary in the final year of their rookie contract in 2014. Now, each player will have a base salary of $1.389 million, meaning if Cleveland keeps all three players, that will be $2.232 million more money that counts against the salary cap in 2014 than before.
The Browns' other eligible draft picks from those years, FB Owen Marecic and FS Eric Hagg, are no longer with the team. Thinking forward to next year, the only players who really have a shot at the escalator would be DL John Hughes and DL Billy Winn. The only other potential player would be WR Travis Benjamin, who hasn't played much; everyone else is no longer with the team.