The 2022 NFL season has been a dud for the Cleveland Browns. At 2-5, it looks like it would take a miracle for the team to make a push for a playoff spot. Anything is possible in the NFL but the recent news isn’t great for the team:
- LB Jacob Phillips joins LB Anthony Walker Jr. out for the year with injury
- TE David Njoku, in the midst of a great season, is out for 2-5 weeks with an injury
- CB Denzel Ward is still in the concussion protocol
The only excitement now would be the upcoming NFL trade deadline. We covered, in-depth, the possibility of trading one of the team’s running backs. The Christian McCaffrey trade may have increased the return the Browns could get.
Just because Cleveland could be active at the NFL trade deadline, including rumors of Kareem Hunt and Greedy Williams being on the market, there are a few players whose contracts make it unlikely they will be headed anywhere.
Nothing is impossible in the NFL (New York at almost $20 million in dead cap in trading Odell Beckham Jr. and Carolina just took on $26 million in trading Christian McCaffrey) but these Browns are highly unlikely to be headed anywhere based on their contracts alone:
- Deshaun Watson - With his contract guaranteed, trading Watson would lead to an unprecedented acceleration of dead cap hit for the Browns.
- Myles Garrett - Trading Garrett would cost Cleveland around $35 million in dead cap hit in 2023 (along with a whole lot of their fanbase’s loyalty).
- Denzel Ward - Ward’s dead cap hit in 2023 would be similar to Garrett’s. Despite injury concerns, Ward’s contract has him going nowhere.
- Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller - Besides being cornerstones of the offensive line, both players would cost over $10 million next year if they were traded this year. Unless Cleveland got huge returns, they aren’t paying $10 million in cap space for these great guards to play for someone else.
- David Njoku - Another big contract, Njoku’s injury makes this moot but $17 million dead cap next year, and his upside, is keeping him in Cleveland.
- Nick Chubb - Speaking of losing fans, Chubb’s dead cap is just $8 million next year if dealt this year but there is no way he is dealt with that cap hit and his talent level.
Anybody else on the roster might be fair game but those seven, all signed to new deals recently, have contracts (and talent to go with it) that make them as close to untradeable as possible.
Thank you to Over The Cap for all the contract details.