Move to make the Super Bowl No. 5 – Create additional salary Cap
The Cleveland Browns head into the 2022 season with just under $18 million in cap space after placing the franchise tag on David Njoku. That tag will cost the team just under $11 million, which is a fair price compared to what he may have received in the open market. There are reports that both sides are still working on a long-term extension before the deadline.
The three easy targets to me are Jarvis Landry, J.C. Tretter, and Austin Hooper. They have all served their purpose on this roster, but all three have valid reasons to be cut.
Landry will save the team nearly $15 million in cap space if they release him. He had a few great years in Cleveland and was a great leader, but his production isn’t anywhere near what he’s being paid, and the injuries are starting to add up. The Browns will have a hole at wide receiver but expect Landry to be gone.
Tretter has been a great piece to this offensive line and likely has another year in him, but the team can save over $8 million with his release and Nick Harris appears ready to start. Tretter has managed to start a ton of games, but the guy has horrible knees and hasn’t practiced in almost two seasons.
With the franchise tag going to Njoku, I don’t see a scenario where Hooper survives, especially with Harrison Bryant also on the roster. His post-June 1 cut will save the Browns $9.5 million in cap each of the next two seasons.
Hooper is a guy that could be traded, which would be even better for the Browns. He struggled to perform in Cleveland, but we know he can play if put in the right system.
Not what anyone wants to read, but don’t be surprised if Kareem Hunt is cut either. Having two elite backs is a luxury, and the money may be better spent somewhere else.