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NFL free agency: Tracking Browns spending under GM Andrew Berry since 2020

Browns have flexibility in the salary cap this offseason

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As the Super Bowl gets ready to kick off this Sunday and bring the 2023 NFL season to a close, the Cleveland Browns are in preparation for the NFL offseason. The NFL draft will get the majority of the coverage with the NFL combine starting in late February.

Between the combine and draft, NFL free agency impacts everything. The Browns have 26 pending free agents and flexibility with their salary cap space.

Under GM Andrew Berry, Cleveland has been highly active in free agency:

  • 2020 - Jack Conklin, Austin Hooper, Case Keenum
  • 2021 - John Johnson III, Troy Hill, Jadeveon Clowney
  • 2022 - Clowney, Jacoby Brissett, Jakeem Grant, Taven Bryan
  • 2023 - Dalvin Tomlinson, Juan Thornhill, Ogbo Okoronkwo, Jordan Akins

As expected in free agency, as with draft selections, not every move has worked out. Veterans hit free agency for a myriad of reasons but many times it doesn’t work out for the new team.

Berry has spent a lot of Jimmy Haslam’s money in free agency. According to one source, the Browns free agent spending each year is as follows:

  • 2020 - $126 million
  • 2021 - $76 million
  • 2022 - $52 million
  • 2023 - $123 million

Cash spending, the numbers listed above, and salary cap costs are different numbers but it is clear that Haslam has opened his checkbook in free agency. Those numbers don’t include extensions dolled out to players like Nick Chubb, Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward or the large contract given to Deshaun Watson.

Given the four-year history under Berry, it is fair to assume Cleveland will spend at least $50 million in free agency this year and could go up over $100 million. This year’s free agent class, and draft class, is loaded with receivers that could pique interest from the Browns. There are a number of other players and positions that could interest Berry but extensions and the use of tags (franchise or transition) will thin the pool overall.

How much do you think Berry will spend this offseason after looking at the last four years? As a reminder, cash spent and salary cap space are not the same.