Cleveland Browns: 5 potential salary cap cuts now that Andrew Berry is GM
By Randy Gurzi
2. Olivier Vernon, EDGE
One move that John Dorsey made that ended up not working out was the trade he made to send guard Kevin Zeitler to the New York Giants in exchange for Olivier Vernon. It was already mentioned that the offensive line was an issue and no one could step up and fill the role of right guard once Zeitler was gone.
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
To be fair to Dorsey, the idea was solid. He believed the offensive line wouldn’t see a major drop off if Austin Corbett stepped in for Zeitler and the defensive line would be massively improved with a second Pro Bowl edge rusher.
However, Corbett wasn’t able to develop into a starter for the Browns and was eventually traded to the Los Angeles Rams.
Making matters worse, Vernon didn’t have the impact expected. On the season, he had 26 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
Looking at the numbers doesn’t do his play justice though as Vernon was solid for the Browns. The real problem is, he struggled to stay healthy, missing significant time for the third season in a row.
A knee injury cost Vernon six games and with him turning 30 this season, it’s not likely he will suddenly kick the injury bug that has plagued him recently.
On top of that, he accounts for $15.5 million of the team’s salary cap — more than any other player in 2020 according to OverTheCap.com. Also, the Browns would be hit with no dead money, meaning releasing Vernon would save them the entire $15.5 million.
Andrew Berry could look at all these factors and decide to move on. It wouldn’t be a popular move but it’s easy to see why he would consider it.