3 salary cap cuts the Cleveland Browns must make this offseason

Browns, Jakeem Grant Sr. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Jakeem Grant Sr. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Browns
Joe Haeg. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

2. Joe Haeg, OT

It won’t be hard to go over Joe Haeg’s career with Cleveland because like Jakeem Grant, he never got started. However, unlike Grant, Haeg was a very under-the-radar signing that took place after training camp — and hardly anyone noticed the move.

Haeg signed on September, 4 to a three-year contract worth $7.5 million, and $2.6 million of that was guaranteed. Clearly, they had big plans for him this season, likely due to Jack Conklin coming off major surgery.

Conklin wound up returning after just a couple of weeks but that was quicker than expected. Still, the Browns wanted a trusted veteran and that’s what they found in Haeg. While he’s never been a full-time starter, he does have 39 career starts in 72 games while playing for three different teams. He even had a touchdown catch in the Super Bowl for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Unfortunately, he never made it to the field in Cleveland, instead landing on the IR with a concussion. He missed three games before they decided in October to sideline him for the year.

Now heading into 2023, it’s clear that Haeg isn’t in the plans. They might have given him a decent contract for a backup lineman, but $2.1 million of the $2.6 million guaranteed was paid out in 2022. That means they can save $2 million this season and $2.9 million in 2024 by releasing him. And the only cap hit would be just $500,000 — which isn’t close to what they’re paying Jadeveon Clowney to not be on the team.