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The Browns continue to lead the NFL in a surprising category


(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns have shown this offseason that they aren’t afraid to spend money on big-name players.

First, they absorbed the rest of Amari Cooper’s contract after picking him up from the Dallas Cowboys.

Then they gave tight end David Njoku a four-year, $54.75 million deal.

The Browns also signed Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson to a fully guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract.

Finally, they also rewarded Denzel Ward with a big five-year, $100.5 million contract, making him the highest-paid cornerback by annual average value.

Yet despite the madness, the Browns still have huge cap space, as shared by Pro Football Focus writer Ari Meirov.

After June 1, the Browns still have $40.9 million of cap space.

The Carolina Panthers are a distant second with $24.7 million, while the Las Vegas Raiders are third with $22.6 million.

The Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots are bottom of the list.

June 1 is an important date in the NFL schedule as teams can soften the dead hat trick of released players.

Instead of absorbing the penalty for one season, they can spread the value over two seasons, giving them some cap flexibility.

Salary cap gymnastics for the Browns

Although Cleveland has made these huge offers to some of its key players, they won’t feel the full brunt of these deals in 2022.

Ward and Watson will only have base salaries of $1,035,000.

With that cap space, they can offer one-year deals to players who might help their cause.

They still need help in the passing game, making Julio Jones or Will Fuller suitable targets.

The Browns could also bet on Anthony Barr to boost their defense.

The team needs to sign more players as their cap space puts their liabilities at around $187 million.

This is still below the minimum 90% cap that teams must use each season.




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