Although they came up short in the J.J. Watt sweepstakes, the Cleveland Browns are still in a fantastic position to improve the team this upcoming off-season. Andrew Berry and the front office have done a fantastic job so far not only improving the team, but setting a budget and sticking to that. To often we see teams overpay for aging veterans (sorry, Cardinals fans), only for it to blow up in their faces. Berry and company have been spreading their message to anyone and everyone that is willing to listen: They are willing to be aggressive and make moves, but they will only do so if the budget allows.
While the specific cap number is still in question, the NFL has set the cap floor to no lower than $180 million, up from the previously agreed upon $175 million. According to Spotrac, the Browns will have roughly $25.7 million to play with this upcoming off-season.
What could offseason look like for Browns?
Taking into account their own free agents that will need to be re-signed, in addition to the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft, and suddenly the Browns are a little tight when it comes to upcoming spending. Add in the fact that players such as Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward, Nick Chubb and others will need new contracts sooner than later, and the cap all of the sudden becomes an issue.
Converting base salaries into bonuses and extending current players contract could potentially open up some cap space. Players like Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, Case Keenum and Jack Conklin could all fall into this category.
With the Browns linked to high profile players such as Von Miller, Marshon Lattimore, Marcus Williams and many others, Andrew Berry will have to make some difficult decisions leading up to the draft. Here are three players to keep an eye on to see what their future holds in Cleveland.