3 potential cap casualties the Cleveland Browns could be interested in

Los Angeles Chargers v Indianapolis Colts
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While it's easy to focus on the current free agents, the Cleveland Browns should focus on these three guys likely to be cut by their current teams.

We are now just over a week away from the NFL league year starting which includes the beginning of free agency. Although you will start to see deals done early next week (Monday the 13th at noon), nothing can be official until March 15th at 4 PM EST. 

The Cleveland Browns are expected to be players in free agency this year, but there's no doubt they will be somewhat limited by the cap. Currently, Deshaun Watson, Myles Garrett, and Amari Cooper are eating up nearly $108 million of the $224.8 million cap allotment.  The expectation is Berry will be restructuring one or more of those deals to free up 2023 space.

Right now, it’s easy to focus on the impending free agents, but remember, there will likely be some veteran cap casualties as well that could be just as enticing for the Browns. Here are 3 likely cap casualties that Andrew Berry should look to sweep up.

Donte Jackson, Michael Thomas, Browns
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Browns Cap Casualty Signing No. 3 – Michael Thomas, Wide Receiver

After completely dominating the league in 2018 and 2019, former second-round pick Michael Thomas has struggled the last three seasons to stay healthy and be productive.  With a cap hit of $13.3 million in 2023, the Saints could be ready to move on, and the Cleveland Browns could look to swoop in on the former all-pro. Remember, the Saints were already $18 million in the red and just signed Derek Carr.

There are a ton of red flags with Thomas, but given his upside, I would sing him in a second if the deal was right. Thomas has only played 10 games in the last three seasons, he has had lingering foot/ankle issues, but has also been unhappy with his contract. During the first four years of his career, Thomas accumulated over 5,500 yards and 32 touchdowns and was looked at as the best in the league.

Even with the red flags, Thomas is going to draw some interest. I’m not sure how much money someone will throw at him, but there's always at least one desperate team. The good news for the Browns, Thomas has likely realized how important an elite quarterback is. His lack of production first started once Drew Breese was no longer under center.

This may be a bit of a long shot, but I’ve never seen a clearer situation where a fresh start may be all that’s needed. Let’s hope the possibility of Thomas coming back to the Buckeye state is possible.