Why the Cleveland Browns will punt the 2020 NFL Draft
The Problem with the Draft
The 2020 NFL Draft will be the first opportunity for the fully aligned front office to begin filling the roster with their types of players. The front office has a lot of work to do.
John Dorsey was the consummate football guy. He was a good scout. He operated per the good ole boy inner sanctum code. And more than anything he wanted the Browns to be HIS team. He wanted to put HIS stamp on the team.
To that end, he decided to draft “real” football players. He emptied the roster of players drafted by the “analytical” (aka not good ole boy inner sanctum) front office. He seemingly alienated players like Rashard Higgins, David Njoku and was getting nowhere on a contract with Joe Schobert, all of whom were drafted by former Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown.
But Dorsey did fill the roster with good football players. He drafted quarterback Baker Mayfield (whom the analytics loved). He brought in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. He did a lot to put talent on the team.
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
In the end, Dorsey used up most of the cap space created by the former regime. The analytical front office decided to generate more cap space by trading large contracts in favor of rookie players. They also created more rookie contracts by constantly trading down to acquire more draft assets. The Browns were left with a large cap rollover, plus multiple draft picks to fill the roster. But Dorsey effectively undid all this in two seasons.
The Browns projected salaries for 2020 is currently at $179 million with a $199 million cap. There is a carryover of roughly $32 million from 2019. This would make the projected Browns cap at roughly $230 million.
This carry over is down from the roughly $56 million carryover from 2018. Per Spotrac, the Browns spent roughly $212 million against the $190 Million cap. This ate into the $56 million carryover, reducing it to $32 million in carryover. In short, the 2019 Browns were over the salary cap.
The Browns are now facing a scenario of what to do with Joe Schobert, who deserves a new contract. They are dealing with players like Oliver Vernon, who counts $15 million against an already overdrawn checkbook.
On top of this, Dorsey depleted the draft capital created by the analytics front office. Gone are the drafts of multiple first-round picks. These draft picks are cheap on the cap. Thus, the salary cap was hit both from over spending and from a failure to acquire cheap young talent to fill the roster.
Heading into this year’s off season and draft, the Browns have cap room, but they are already close to their allotted cap space. They will soon face paying out big contracts to players like Myles Garrett and Baker Mayfield. All this money has to come from somewhere and the roster has holes that will need filled.
This situation will have serious implications for free agency. But next we tackle the ever exciting 2020 Draft.