3 Browns players who must be extended after cap hike

The Cleveland Browns need to extend these 3 players which would lead to some cap space for the offseason

Cleveland Browns, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Cleveland Browns, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah / Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Linebacker

One thing that most NFL fans have to have noticed by now is that the more the salary cap goes up, the more players can command. We still hear how bad Deshaun Watson's deal is but that has to do with the fact that it's fully guaranteed.

He's not the first player with a fully guaranteed deal, heck, Kirk Cousins has gotten two of them — that's what leverage does for you when you're a good quarterback and teams are bidding. And despite the hate for Watson and the narrative that only Cleveland wanted him, there were 13 teams in the running for his services.

As far as overall salary, however, Watson is seventh in the NFL in average per season at $46 million per year. The six ahead of him all signed their deals after he did. And there are now rumors Dak Prescott could get $60 million.

All of that is being said to point to this — it's always better to extend players early. The longer a team waits, the more they wind up paying. So if the GM believes a player is part of their future, it's best to rip the Band-Aid off and sign the deal.

Cleveland did that in 2022 with safety Grant Delpit and now, they need to do the same with linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Their second-round pick from 2021 played well in each of his first two seasons in the league but then exploded in 2023 with 101 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and two picks. He was disruptive all year with six pass defenses, a forced fumble, and 20 tackles for a loss.

JOK proved he's a vital part of this defense and the Browns need to use the increase in salary cap to lock him up for the next several years. He enters free agency in 2025 and letting him hit the open market will shoot his value through the roof.

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