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NFL salary cap: Browns offense tops the league in cap cost

Deshaun Watson isn’t even the team’s top cap hit

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

If offense wins championships in the NFL these days, the Cleveland Browns are spending their money on the correct side of the ball. While many will focus on QB Deshaun Watson’s contract, for the 2023 season he doesn’t even lead the offense in size of cap hit much less the entire team.

Currently, DE Myles Garrett has the largest cap charge for the Borwns at just over $29 million. After that, WR Amari Cooper sits at just under $24 million before Watson’s just over $19 million.

After Garrett, seven of the next eight biggest cap hits are on the offensive side of the football:

  • Cooper
  • Watson
  • Wyatt Teller - $15 million
  • Nick Chubb - $14.8
  • Joel Bitonio - $14.6
  • David Njoku - $8.4
  • Jack Conklin - $7.8
  • Jedrick Wills - $6.3

CB Denzel Ward ($12.1) slides in between Bitonio and Njoku.

With all that cap spent on the offense, Cleveland leads the league:

The unbalance in spending on each side of the ball could lead to a trade of a player like Teller in the near future and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones being allowed to reach free agency especially if the team doesn’t restructure or extend Watson’s contract next year. As of now, the quarterback will see a cap hit of over $60 million in 2024 if no adjustments are made.