Cleveland Browns will need to trim players to sign free agents

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Cleveland Browns
ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 26: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces a pick by the Cleveland Browns during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT /

2020 NFL Salary Cap Space

The 2020 NFL salary caps are compiled by sites such as and There are some minor differences because the official cap allowance has not been established. Also, not every player currently on the roster is actually going to get paid in 2020, so some guesses are needed about how the teams’ actual rosters will pan out. projects the cap space based on the salary of the top 51 players.

Cap space includes salaries for draft picks, so you have to deduct about $7 million or so in order to estimate how much money is available for signing veterans. There will also be about $1.5 million for practice squad players.

Undrafted free agents are mostly paid at the bottom of the pay scale. On the other hand, players who are cut could be higher priced (for example, Britton Colquitt was cut in favor of the Scottish Hammer, Jamie Gillan, which cleared $2.2 million).

Once all the team has spent all it wants to for free agents and draft picks, there will be a dozen or so new players drawing their salary from the money currently listed as cap space.

A new column in green has been added to the salary cap chart. This is the annual salary cap allowance minus the non-expiring carryover dollars from previous years. Carryover can be spent out in one year, but that is rarely done in the NFL.

An NFL team can usually be comfortable in spending up to its annual limit, but must arm-wrestle ownership to go above it. A team should absolutely not use $22 million of carryover to get to the 6-10 level like the Browns did last year. That gets the GM fired, as John Dorsey found out. If you are going to bet that much money on a Super Bowl run, you better be right.

The Browns still have a massive war chest even after blowing $22 million last year. Their stash is still in the range of $36 million. How much will the new GM be allowed to spend?

The answer depends largely on how close they believe they are to a playoff run. Normally 6-10 is not enough cause for optimism, but it is possible that the Browns could be closer than people think.

Or they may believe they are close even if they are not. Also, rebuilding the offensive line could be considered to be an investment. Overspending by several million dollars might be considered under the circumstances.

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All in all, it is likely that the Browns will sign some quality free agents but in order to do so there will be painful cuts made elsewhere. Offensive tackle might be a good place to start.