Salary Cap Issue Position No. 1 – Offensive Line
Luckily for the Browns, they are in good shape on the defensive side of the ball. Guys like Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward have large contracts but are still in the early years with minimal hits compared to the production they give.
The biggest problem for this team is the offensive line which will have nearly $54 million of cap hits between the five projected starters. Let me be clear, I would have no issues with that number if I felt like the production would be significant.
However, pass protection and run blocking were a problem all the 2023 season. There's a good chance that Dawand Jones steals a starting position from someone at tackle, and Nick Harris who will hopefully be resigned at a low price, also has good experience on the interior.
Jedrick Wills isn’t going anywhere with a fully guaranteed contract, but between Joel Bitonio, Wyatt Teller, and Jack Conklin it feels like something must happen. I’m not sure that Berry and Kevin Stefanski will sleep at night knowing they didn’t upgrade this offensive line.
The Detroit Lions are the perfect example of how important the offensive line can be. No one would argue that Jared Goff is a top-five quarterback in the NFL, but because of how good that offensive line is he shines. Not only does he have great protection, but he had a strong run game to help set up play-action and constantly keep defenses guessing.
I’m not sure how much money can be spent at this position this offseason, but certainly, a draft pick must be used to try and upgrade. Injuries were certainly an issue as well last year with the offensive line, but it will be one of the more interesting positions to watch this offseason.