The Cleveland Browns are finally starting to get players worth keeping and paying big bucks. However, these 3 contracts could hinder the team.
Andrew Berry and the Cleveland Browns are all in for the 2022 season. Not only did they give up six future picks for star quarterback Deshaun Watson, but they also got basically nothing in return for their former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.
I’m not saying that was the wrong move, but it certainly puts more pressure on the front office in the years to come. When you have limited draft assets and a ton of cap tied up in one player (Watson), you can’t miss in the draft. As much as I would like the Browns to keep signing veteran free agents, at some point the money runs out.
With nearly $50 million of cap space remaining for 2022, that hasn’t hit yet. However, there are still a few bad contracts on this team as we head into training camp.
Cleveland Browns 3 worst contracts heading into training camp
No. 3 – Deshaun Watson
Listen, don’t take this the wrong way. The only reason Deshaun Watson is on this list is because of the question mark around his availability during the 2022 season. There’s no doubt that Berry backed the truck up to lure Watson to the Browns, but I will promise you in two more years this deal will look like a hometown discount.
I know we all want him to be able to play in the 2022 season, but one of the worst scenarios for the Browns would be an eight or 10-game suspension. In that scenario, Watson would accrue a full year and be paid his $1.04 million salary plus an $8.99 million bonus.
However, if Watson is suspended for a full year, the contract is pushed back another year. That means the figures above move to 2023 and Watson is under contract through 2027. It’s kind of a pickle, but if he’s suspended for 10 games, do we really think Cleveland will be playoff contenders?
If the suspension is four games or less, I’m not sure this contract deserves to be on the list. The guaranteed numbers are staggering, but the NFL is moving this way.