3 Moves the Browns Need to Make to Get Under the Salary Cap by March 15

Devon Platana
Three moves that the Cleveland Browns need to make to get under the NFL salary cap by March 15.
Three moves that the Cleveland Browns need to make to get under the NFL salary cap by March 15. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Cleveland Browns return to the drawing board following the disappointment known as their 2022 NFL season. Free agency is one resource that the Browns can use to come back better next season, but that's easier said than done considering they're projected to be around $14.3 million over the 2023 salary cap, according to Spotrac.

Free agency opens on March 15, giving general manager Andrew Barry one month to clear up some space. With several Browns players making more than they're worth, don't be surprised if Cleveland makes some cuts and restructures a few contracts in the coming weeks.

Here are three moves that the Browns need to make to get under the salary cap by March 15.

Browns Offseason Rumors

1. Cut Harrison Bryant

Harrison Bryant wasn't much of a factor in the Browns' offense last season. The former 2020 fourth-rounder finished with just 239 receiving yards and a touchdown on 31 catches over 17 games (nine starts). He was outplayed by fellow tight end David Njoku, who finished with a 58-628-4 stat line over 14 starts. With Njoku returning in 2023 with a cap hit of just north of $8.3 million, it's hard to justify bringing back Bryant and his hit of around $2.9 million. After all, the Browns can save just under $2.8 million in cap space by cutting him, which is a decent amount given the team's financial issues. There are cheaper and better replacement options for Bryant out there.

2. Cut Joe Haeg

Joe Haeg's healthy has kept him off the football field more often than not over the last few years. The veteran offensive tackle has missed 25 games since the start of the 2020 campaign, missing the majority of the last season with a lingering concussion. With concussion recovery times varying by the individual, there's no telling when or if Haeg will be healthy enough to play. Cutting him should be an easy decision for the Browns considering that Haeg carries no dead money if he's released, freeing up $2.5 million in cap space as a result.

3. Restructure Amari Cooper's Contract

Amari Cooper was the Browns' best pass-catcher in 2022, turning 78 receptions into 1,160 yards and nine TDs. It can be argued that he's worth his $23.776 million cap hit next season, but that doesn't mean that the Browns won't try and restructure his deal. After all, they already did it once last offseason. Cooper was set to carry a $20 million base salary in 2022, but Cleveland restructured it to free up about $15 million in cap space. If Cooper is set on helping the Browns win a championship, readjusting his deal would go a long way in helping them bring in some reinforcements.

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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.