On Monday, the Cleveland Browns signed the following eight players to reserve/future contracts: RB Josh Rounds, WR Kasen Williams, WR C.J. Board, WR Bug Howard, OL Victor Salako, LB Austin Calitro, CB Trevon Hartfield, and CB B.W. Webb.
What are "reserve/future" contracts? Anyone who was signed to an NFL active roster cannot enter free agency until March. Anyone who was already a free agent or on a practice squad, though, stay/became free agents at the conclusion of the regular season. Therefore, the Browns basically "re-signed" the players they are interested in having another look at during the offseason programs or in training camp next season. In other words, it's a formality that has to be done to keep your practice squad in tact.
Webb was recently waived by the Browns, but the other seven players finished the year on the practice squad. Players on the practice squad who were not signed to reserve/future contracts include OL Laurence Gibson, DL T.Y. McGill, and S Jacob Hagen.
How impactful can these reserve/future players typically be? For some perspective, last year, DL Trevon Coley, OLB James Burgess, and S Justin Currie were among the players signed to reserve/future contracts. Coley and Burgess ended up being big-time contributors to the team’s defense in 2017.