Last offseason, LB Christian Kirksey signed a 4-year, $35 million contract extension with the Cleveland Browns. But sometimes, contracts can be deceiving, or there is still a chance that the team cuts that player before they see most of that money (i.e. see this past season when WR Kenny Britt was cut after signing a 4-year, $32.5 million deal).
On Friday, February 9, Kirksey’s entire base salaries for 2018 ($5 million) and 2019 ($7 million) became fully guaranteed, for a total of $12 million that is firmly on the books. It was previously only guaranteed for injury.
There was nothing to suggest that Kirksey wouldn’t be retained — Gregg Williams played him in 100% of the team’s defensive snaps last season, and he’s still the defensive coordinator — but the Browns have previously paid DT Phil Taylor a $5 million guarantee and CB Joe Haden a $4 million guarantee during an offseason, only to cut them in camp.
The next big dates to look at concern the Browns’ offensive line, when guards Joel Bitonio and Kevin Zeitler have guarantees kick in on the third day of the NFL league year, and LT Joe Thomas has a $5 million roster bonus due on the fifth day of the NFL league year.