Reason No. 1 to avoid DeAndre Hopkins: Browns have cap space, draft capital concerns
Right now, if you pull up the Cleveland Browns on Over the Cap, you will see they are nearly $10 million in the red.Let’s not panic yet as there are a ton of restructures and players to be cut that will certainly get that number in check before the start of the season — plus a good bit of rollover from this season.
However, with large contracts going to Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, Deshaun Watson, and others, the Browns are now in a position where they can’t miss on free agents or draft picks because their resources are becoming more and more limited.
On top of that, they won’t have a first-round pick in 2023 or 2024. They’re also missing three additional picks as a part of the Watson trade.
What does all this mean? With Hopkins looking for a multi-year deal likely making him the highest-paid receiver in the league, and the Browns already limited on draft picks over the next two seasons I don’t see a scenario where a trade makes sense.
The pick may only be a second or third-rounder with only two years left on his contract, but the extension required to execute the trade is what will take the Browns out of the running.
Cleveland can likely afford one big-name player this offseason, but I struggle to believe it’s going to be a receiver, specifically a guy as talented as Hopkins.