Cleveland Browns Accomplishment No. 5 – Open up additional cap space
The Cleveland Browns aren’t in bad shape with just under $40 million of cap space heading into the 2022 offseason, but they are going to have some pretty big holes to fill so opening up additional cap space will be imperative.
What do great teams do? They move one from guys a year early, rather than a year late. That strategy means there will be some tough decisions to be made, but if the organization wants to be competitive for the long run, you’re going to see some veterans get released.
Austin Hooper is a name that comes to mind. I’m still not sold this is a great move, but if the team waits until after June 1st, he only carries $3.75 million of dead cap (but for each of the next three years). The $19 million in savings may be just enough to make Berry release him given his struggles the last two years.
J.C. Tretter is the next player I see on his way out. He’s under contract through the 2022 season, but the Browns can save $8.25 million by cutting him and having Nick Harris step in. If Harris wasn’t ready to be a starter next year, this decision would be a lot harder.
The final move that will open another $15.1 million for 2022 will be the release of Jarvis Landry. I know, he has been the Browns best receiver the last few years, but he’s been the best of a bad group. You won’t be able to convince me Berry will pay him $16.6 million in 2022 for the production we saw this year.
There will likely be others, but these are the three big moves that can open nearly $30 million of cap space in 2022.