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Cleveland Browns Free Agency Live Blog - Rumors, Signings, and More (Day 6)

Our live blog and free agency tracker for the Cleveland Browns will be going all day long, so make sure you continue to refresh this page for the latest updates!

Los Angeles Rams v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Welcome to Day 6 of free agency week for the Cleveland Browns. If you missed our Day 5 live blog, which saw the team add a few more free agents, check it out here.

This thread will act as a “live blog” of sorts, with brief but important updates about the latest rumors, signings, or trades involving Cleveland or other NFL teams. You should also use the comments section as your free agency open thread! (Newest updates will be at the top of the live blog below)

2021 Browns Free Agency Live Blog - Day 6


6:30 PM: Shortly after the Bears officially released CB Kyle Fuller, the Denver Broncos snatched him up on a 1-year deal worth $9.5 million.


6:22 PM: Here is what DBN’s Mike Krupka had to say after watching some film on new Browns LB Anthony Walker:


6:06 PM: OK, I give up on waiting for the official cap numbers, so let’s make an unofficial guess as to how much cap space the Browns have left. The last time we reported the official amount was three days ago, after S John Johnson and DE Takk McKinley were signed. At the time, the Browns had about $16.14 million in available cap space. Since then, we’ve had the following (remember, these cap numbers are estimates):

ADDITIONS:

  • WR Rashard Higgins: $2.3 million
  • WR JoJo Natson: $987,500
  • OT Greg Senat: $850,000
  • DT Malik Jackson: $4.5 million
  • LB Anthony Walker: $3.5 million
  • LB Malcolm Smith: $987,500
  • LB Elijah Lee: $987,500
  • CB Troy Hill: $3 million
  • K Cody Parkey: $987,500

WAIVED:

  • OT Drake Dorbeck ($6,500 in dead money)

We feel pretty good about the cap numbers for Higgins, Jackson, and Walker, because those are all 1-year deals; we just don’t know how the base salary and signing bonus portions are allocated. Natson, Smith, Lee, and Parkey should all qualify for the veteran salary benefit, so I assume Cleveland did not pay them more. Senat only has two credited season, so his salary is a little lower. The waiving of Dorbeck carries $6,500 in dead money, but he was a minimum salary player ($780,000), so he would not impact the Top 51.

The big question mark is with Hill’s deal. It is reportedly 2 years for $9 million, with incentives to make it up to $10 million. There are supposedly two voidable years, which I assume are ways for the Browns to space out his cap hit (to lower it this year and next year), in exchange for tacking it on down the road. Therefore, I’m going with a low cap hit for him this year of $3 million.

With all of that in mind, we also think about the net additions and subtractions to the Top 51. There are nine players, but we won’t count Senat’s $850,000, since that would cancel out from a player already at the bottom. Therefore, we’ll take away the bottom 8 salaries of three players making $780,000 and five players making $850,000. Now, let’s tally everything up:

Total of the 8 Additions: $17.25 million
Total of the 8 Subtractions: $6.59 million

The total amount added to the cap would then be $17.25 million - $6.59 million = $10.66 million.

Now, go back to our previous estimate of $16.14 million in available cap space, and subtract the $10.66 million from it. Finally, that allows us to conclude that Cleveland has about $5.48 million left in available cap space. As I said earlier, though, the structure of Hill’s contract could swing that number either way.


2:15 PM: The Miami Dolphins waived offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson earlier today, just three days after acquiring him in a trade with the Tennessee Titans.

According to The Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley, in the short time he was with the Dolphins, Wilson arrived late for both his physical and team orientation, and could not be bothered to show up at all for a pair of optional workouts, even though he had agreed to do so.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry is obviously always on the lookout for young talent, but given everything that Wilson has shown in his short time in the NFL, there is little reason to believe that the Browns should go anywhere near him.


9:12 AM: Today begins a 12-day window, according to Joel Corry of CBS Sports, for the Browns to pick up options on TE Austin Hooper and DE Myles Garrett.

  • Let’s start with Hooper. I previously mentioned Hooper’s $7 million option bonus that became fully guaranteed on Friday. If the Browns do not pick up that option, then Hooper’s base salary will jump from $4.5 million to $11.5 million in 2021. If the Browns pick up the option, then that $7 million option bonus will be spread out over four years, including in a voided year in 2024 — like we originally wrote about last year. It is a no-brainer for Cleveland to exercise the option.
  • Likewise, today, the Browns can exercise a fully guaranteed $20.67 million option bonus on Garrett, which would be spread out over the next five years. If they don’t exercise the option, then that $20.67 million would instead be added to his current 2021 base salary of $1.02 million, for a total base salary in 2021 of $21.86 million. It is also a no-brainer for the Browns to exercise the option on Garrett.

8:48 AM: Let’s talk about some money that became guaranteed this week for our veteran players.

  • Previously, $6.45 million of DE Myles Garrett’s $19 million base salary in 2022 was fully guaranteed. On Friday, the remaining $12.55 million became fully guaranteed as well (it was previously guaranteed for injury only).
  • WR Odell Beckham Jr. previously had $12.79 million of his $14.5 million base salary for the 2021 season guaranteed for injury only. On Friday, that $12.79 million became fully guaranteed. It was pretty much locked in anyway, given the timing and the fact that Beckham is currently recovering from a torn ACL.
  • TE Austin Hooper’s option bonus of $7 million became fully guaranteed on Friday.

8:30 AM: Good morning again, Browns fans, and happy weekend! GM Andrew Berry was busy again yesterday, adding a mix of veteran free agents in DT Malik Jackson and LB Anthony Walker, while also re-signing K Cody Parkey.

We’re at the point now where Cleveland could honestly be content and done with free agency, and just focus on the NFL Draft now to continue adding players. Later today, I’ll continue to hope that some more cap numbers get released for Browns players like CB Troy Hill, WR Rashard Higgins, and the players from yesterday — but if not, I will put together an estimate for each player instead.