How much cap space do the Cleveland Browns have after first wave of free agency?

What is the Browns' cap space situation?

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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The Cleveland Browns haven't been able to make a ton of big moves in free agency and cap space is a big reason why that is. With Deshaun Watson set to be a $63 million cap hit in 2024 (the second biggest cap hit is Amari Cooper, who is a $23 million cap hit, to put that into perspective), the Browns didn't have a ton of spending money this offseason.

So far in free agency, some of the biggest moves made by Cleveland were re-signing Za'Darius Smith and Shelby Harris while also bringing in Jordan Hicks, Jameis Winston, and Devin Bush. What is their cap situation like at the moment?

Browns cap space situation after first week of free agency

As of this writing, the Browns are slightly under the cap, sitting at negative $1,905,157, good for the second-worst situation in the league. The only team further under the cap than Cleveland is the 49ers, who have negative $6.3 million, according to Over the Cap.

As mentioned above, the Browns living in cap hell is largely because of Deshaun Watson's massive contract (five years, $230 million guaranteed). Until that contract is off the books, the Browns are going to be in a bad salary cap situation.

Watson is a $63 million cap hit over the next three years, making it impossible to move on from the contract. He's coming off a disappointing year in Cleveland despite the team going 5-1 in the six games Watson started. He threw for just seven touchdowns and missed over half of the year due to injury.

The Browns will need to draft well to make sure they remain a playoff team in 2024 and beyond because it'll be hard for them to make a ton of splashy moves when they're taking a $63 million cap hit every year.

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