As expected, GM Andrew Berry has restructured the contract of QB Deshaun Watson to give the team $36 million in cap space. We don’t have the details yet but it is likely that this restructure also includes the addition of void years to assist in cap space.
Prior to the Watson restructure, the Browns were over the salary cap by about $14 million with Watson’s $54 million cap number taking up a huge chunk of space. With this restructure, Watson will now have the third-highest cap hit behind Myles Garrett and Amari Cooper.
Berry could continue to add cap space as he officially releases John Johnson III and, potentially, restructures the deals of Garrett and Cooper. Cooper could also get a contract extension to keep him around a little longer while lowering his cap number.
With just the release of JJ3 and the Watson restructure, Cleveland will have around $30 million in cap space to spend for this season. A reminder, cap space does not mean the value of the contract. Berry could sign a couple of big deals (like Dre’Mont Jones) with that amount but must calculate future cap hits, including Watson’s increasing after the restructure, in his planning.
A busy day ahead for the Browns starts off with a lot more cap space.