Cleveland Browns depth may cost players their starting jobs.
The Cleveland Browns have loaded up on talent over the past couple of seasons. It’s great to have so much talent on one roster, but it also means a few fan favorites will hit the road. Just this offseason fans watched as Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert changed teams.
With this new regime, success must be immediate, meaning time is of the essence for everyone on the roster. General manager Andrew Berry worked the draft and free agency to ensure key positions had the depth that was lacking under John Dorsey.
Depth equals opportunity for backups to leapfrog starters. This also leads to decisions that the front office must make. Obviously, contracts play a big part in any personnel decision but the Browns have over $30 million in cap space, so a few casualties wouldn’t break their wallets. Return on investment is the name of the game.
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With analytics being the driving force for this front office, the moneyball is in full swing. This means it’s unlikely that the Browns will give out or keep big contracts just because the cap space and need are present.
Of course, this probably doesn’t include making Myles Garrett the highest-paid defensive end in the league. It does mean there will be a lot of inexpensive options at certain positions, i.e. linebacker.
So what does that mean for the depth chart? Simply put, just because you were paid like a starter doesn’t mean you’ll be a starter. Berry and company probably hope guys like Chad Thomas explodes this season so they can wheel and deal before the trade deadline.