For all the failures of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, the man is willing to spend money at a high level. While fans and the media focus on the salary cap, players and agents care far more about how much cash is being spent by teams.
Cash is also very helpful for GM Andrew Berry. That Haslam is willing to pay out big bonuses right away, gives Berry a lot of flexibility within the salary cap.
With the 2023 NFL free agency about to open, the NFLPA is opening up the vault of information over the last few weeks. First, it was the players’ survey that brought a lot of attention to a variety of teams. Then, we covered this morning that the NFLPA called out the Cincinnati Bengals publicly.
We also got information from the Players’ Association about cash spending and their salary cap data from last year. Partially, but nowhere near totally, due to the Deshaun Watson contract, the Browns were second in cash spending last season:
A look at each club's cash spending for the 2022 season (As of 3/9/23).— NFLPA (@NFLPA) March 11, 2023
Head to the public salary cap dashboard for more: https://t.co/typVw4uIcT. pic.twitter.com/yCqRxdhYQZ
Cleveland is almost double the lowest cash spender, the Dallas Cowboys.
Interestingly, when you look at the salary cap from last year, the Browns were the only team to spend less than $200 million in salary cap in 2022.
Cash is king in the NFL and Haslam, as proven by his agreement to purchase a stake in the Milwaukee Bucks, has the cash and is willing to spend. Juxtapose that with the Bengals trying to cut players’ workers’ compensation rights and, perhaps, Cleveland has a leg up on their in-state rival in one way.