5 moves the Browns can make to free up $71 million in cap space

The Cleveland Browns have more room than it seems when it comes to the salary cap

Cleveland Browns, Nick Chubb
Cleveland Browns, Nick Chubb / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Find a trade partner for Jedrick Wills ($12.75 million)

Out of all the moves on the list, this one admittedly might be the toughest to pull off. Cleveland enters the 2024 season with a bit of a dilemma on their hands. Jedrick Wills, the No. 10 overall pick in 2020, had the fifth-year option in his rookie deal picked up so his contract is fully guaranteed in 2024.

That means Wills — who struggled mightily in 2023 — is going to make $14.58 million whether he's on the roster or not. That's why the calls to release him don't make a lot of sense. There's no benefit at all to cutting him but the Browns could save some money if they find a trade partner.

This is what happened with Baker Mayfield in 2022 when he was entering the fifth year of his rookie deal. Cleveland had just traded for Deshaun Watson and after several months, finally found a trade partner. With no leverage at all, they had to eat a lot of the money but this time, they're not in a situation where they have to trade Wills. That means they can hold firm, should there be a team that believes he can be salvaged.

Making the trade prior to June 1 would lead to a savings of $12.75 million with a dead hit of $1.829 million. They could wind up saving more than $14 million as a post-June 1 trade but it might be pushing it to try and trade him and get away with paying nothing.