Browns should restructure Myles Garrett contract or look to trade him

Browns, Myles Garrett. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Browns, Myles Garrett. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns, Myles Garrett. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports /

How bad is the Browns 2023 salary structure?

The problem is that the Browns have too many guaranteed contracts that escalate in 2023. They have 42 players under contract to the tune of $238.4 million.

Plus they have $20.2 million in “dead money” to Austin Hooper, Jadeveon Clowney, Jack Conklin, and Richard LeCounte to play elsewhere in 2023 (note: at press time, it was announced that Jack Conklin is going to re-sign. The 2023 budget already has $6 million in it to pay off Conklin’s previous contract. Hence, if they extend and restructure, the numbers will probably stay about the same when the deal is finalized).

They also need to draft eight players and then hire three more at not less than the NFL minimum of $750,000. They need to pay for a practice squad and plan for replacements when their players go on Injured Reserve.

No money is included in the budget for re-signing players such as Jacoby Brissett, Ethan Pocic, Kareem Hunt, Greedy Williams, Sione Takitaki, D’Ernest Johnson, A.J. Green, or any other departing free agent. No money is included for additional free agents, either.

The NFL salary cap limit has not been made official, but it is believed that it is going to go up to over $220 million from its current level of $208.5 million. Jason Fitzgerald of Overthecap is estimating $225 million, so let’s go with that. Plus the Browns figure to have about $31 million left over from this season, giving them a spending limit of $256 million. The results are shown on the next page.