Heading into the offseason, the Cleveland Browns are considered one of the teams to watch in 2024. They're fresh off an 11-win campaign which is impressive for any team, but especially so when you realize they had five different quarterbacks start during the regular season.
Their success with Joe Flacco led to some questions about their current starter Deshaun Watson but that should have never been the case. While Flacco was 4-1 under center, Watson was technically 5-1 (although P.J. Walker was under center for all but five passes in one of those wins). The real story should be how they can finish building around Watson and become true contenders.
That's where Watson was focused recently when he discussed the state of the franchise. Watson discussed general manager Andrew Berry, who has the quarterback's full support as they continue to build a competitive team.
Watson makes it no secret that he wants Cleveland to land a star wideout like Tee Higgins but adds that he doesn't make those decisions. He then stated that Berry is the one pulling the strings and said he has full faith that he's not only doing well now, but has the next five years mapped out.
“All this is all planned. If you really listen to Andrew Berry, he’s telling you the gameplan, the blueprint,” Watson said via J.R. DeGroote of Heavy.com. “We’re straight, we know exactly what we’re doing for the next five years.”
Browns have a plan with Deshaun Watson, salary cap
One of the larger concerns surrounding the team by outsiders is the current cap situation. Estimated at close to $20 million over the cap, the Browns need to make some moves to stay in compliance. They also have to free up space to sign free agents as well as draft picks.
Watson's cap hit sits at $63.97 million right now but there's no way that remains the same when the season begins. He will restructure his deal and the hit will be massively lower. Other moves could be to extend/lower the hit on Amari Cooper and perhaps even Nick Chubb.
While we don't know every move they will make, Browns fans can take solace in knowing there is a plan. And so far, Berry has proven he knows what he's doing — and he has the star players completely bought in.