Cleveland Browns GM Andrew Berry is always active. Free agency, NFL draft, trades, undrafted free agents, workouts, visits and, especially recently, contract restructuring. In the span of a couple of days, Berry has created a ton of cap space for 2023. While we “dreamed” of ways to spend some of that cap space, the reality is that Berry is mostly preparing for next year.
It started with the restructuring of OL Joel Bitonio’s deal to add almost $8 million in cap. Then, DE Myles Garrett’s restructuring saved Cleveland over $12 million in 2023. Those two moves came after QB Deshaun Watson’s deal was restructured to start the offseason.
Berry isn’t done yet, as TE David Njoku’s contract was sent through the same process to save some more cap space:
The Browns have restructured the contract of TE David Njoku, creating $2.736M in 2023 cap space, per source. Cleveland now has close to $37M in cap space.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 22, 2023
The cap space leaders by a mile now.
As a reminder, a contract restructure gets players their money sooner and gives the team cap space now. The rollover mechanism is needed as the Browns are currently projected to be around $50 million over the cap next year.
By making these moves, Berry is preparing for next year while being able to make a big move if necessary during the season.
Given the way Cleveland structures their contracts and owner Jimmy Haslam’s willingness to shell out big checks for each restructure, Berry has a lot of flexibility as long as the salary cap continues to go up and his high-paid players don’t see their performance fall off a cliff.