1. Deshaun Watson, Quarterback
Remember, this discussion is all about which contracts are holding Cleveland back from making any moves. It’s not to say that these players aren’t worth their overall contracts or to even suggest they have to be released. It’s just the simple fact that their numbers in the 2023 offseason are causing concerns.
For example, the move to trade for Deshaun Watson was the right one. There are those who want to say the Browns would have been fine with Jacoby Brissett but they’re ignoring the fact that he was 4-7 and had several losses in one-score games. An elite quarterback could win those ones, which is why 13 teams were chasing Watson.
Even with all that being true, the Browns structured his contract in a way that he wasn’t hit too hard in 2022 when suspended. The result is an astronomical cap hit of $54.99 million which is absolutely crippling.
The good news is, OverTheCap.com says they can free up $33.69 million with a contract restructuring. That won’t lower the overall money Watson makes but will spread the hit out longer — essentially kicking the can down the road.
This is the move they need to make because right now, they will struggle to even field a full team with one player at roughly $55 million.