Taking a look at which members of the Cleveland Browns will be trying to prove they deserve a long-term contract following the 2018 NFL Season
The 2018 NFL Season has yet to kick off, but it’s never too early to look ahead and see which members of the Cleveland Browns could be in for a big pay day.
Good news for fans is that while this roster is on of the strongest they’ve had in recent memory, they still have plenty of cap space to extend players they deem worthy. Currently the Browns are just north of $70 million below the cap, and the news even gets better.
Most of their stars are under contract beyond 2018. That means they’ll be able to keep the players they want, and could finally be headed in the right direction.
Let’s take a look at the few key members of the roster who could be looking to get paid once this season is in the books.
Donald Stephenson, OT
Offensive tackle Donald Stephenson may not be a household name, but he was brought in for a good reason.
Cleveland paid Stephenson $2.5 million as insurance for Joe Thomas, who hadn’t officially retired at the time. Thomas did end up leaving, and one option for replacing him has been to move Shon Coleman from right tackle to left.
In order to do so, the Browns needed a player they could trust. They signed Stephenson, who has 37 career starts to compete at that spot. Worst case scenario is they have a great backup tackle as there are other options available.
That includes Chris Hubbard and rookie Austin Corbett. The Browns can use some combination of these aforementioned players to field a strong unit. It looks like Stephenson is the odd man out, and will be playing for a new contract elsewhere. That can have a positive effect however as he could have extra motivation to prove his worth in 2018.