2. Harrison Bryant, TE
Before training camp began, the Cleveland Browns decided to restructure the contracts of both Jordan Elliott and Harrison Bryant. Former draft picks from the 2020 season, each player was heading into the final year of their deal and would become free agents in 2024. They also had no more guarantees left on their deals, so they could have been released with no financial impact.
While the Browns didn't add money to their contracts, they did give them some guarantees. This lowered the cap hit for each player but then made it nearly impossible to cut either this season.
For Bryant, that doesn't seem terrible. He's been a solid receiver so far in his career with 76 receptions for 710 yards with seven touchdowns. However, he's coming off the worst campaign of his career, which also happened to be the year they leaned on him the most.
As TE2 behind David Njoku, Bryant had his lowest touchdown output (just one) and averaged a personal-worst 7.7 yards per reception. He also had five drops, which was unexpected since he had just four in his career prior to 2022.
Cleveland understood he wasn't the ideal No. 2, so they went out and signed Jordan Akins. Despite this signing, they still gave him the guarantees and brought him to the 53-man roster even though he was out for the majority of camp and Miller Forristall and Zaire Mitchell-Paden each showed more promise.
Perhaps it works out but it feels like this is one where the money made the decision.