The Cleveland Browns are in a unique place with their salary cap in that they are over the cap but could very quickly and easily make sure they have a ton of cap space for this season. GM Andrew Berry seems to be counting on the salary cap to continue to rise significantly and his own ability to structure contracts to save cap space in the future.
This year, Berry could restructure just a couple of contracts and be well under the cap with the ability to spend money. While that does push money down the line on the cap, that money can be timed out in a way that it isn’t a big deal. The New Orleans Saints have never had to “pay the piper” despite constantly being over the cap before the season.
The Browns can also save close to $10 million in cap space by releasing four players at post-June 1st releases. All four are possible moves they could make but not necessarily certain:
Jakeem Grant - Save $2.9 million
Grant was an exciting addition this last offseason but a player over 30 coming off an Achilles injury that relies on quick movement could struggle to return to his previous form.
Joe Haeg - Save $2 million
A contract that seems to be set up in case Haeg became an important part of the offensive line in 2022 so that he got a decent payday in 2023. He didn’t so he won’t. He was selected as PFF’s cut candidate for Cleveland.
Harrison Bryant - Save $2.7 million
The final two players are much more complicated decisions for Berry. First, Bryant is the team’s second tight end behind David Njoku. The team would need a couple of quality players at the position if they move on from Bryant.
Bryant had a career-high 31 receptions for 239 yards last season. Not exactly catching fire going into his fourth season.
Jordan Elliott - Save $2.7 million
Another player going into the final year of his contract that could be a difficult cut because of the lack of options, currently, at the position. Elliott has shown flashes of being a contributor but rarely makes a huge impact on a regular basis.
In 2022, Elliott had a career-high with 36 tackles, five QB hits and two sacks while being on the field for 703 snaps.
Which would you cut? Keep?