The Browns got a break with a raised salary cap in 2022, so what does that mean?
The Browns and the rest of the NFL got a break when it was revealed that the 2022 NFL salary cap would have a record high in movement, with well over $20 million going towards the next year’s cap. The big change completely changes the expectations for the Browns, who will now have even more money to spend on the players than previously thought.
Cleveland has been pretty frugal with their spending, only going in on a few big-name free agents over the last two years, and never going too deep into the bank that it felt like a huge over-pay. Now some free agents haven’t exactly lived up to their deal yet, but the Browns are still in a good place financially.
So what does the raised cap mean for Cleveland?
Retain their higher-priced free agents
There was always this idea that guys like Jack Conklin and John Johnson weren’t going to be Browns after a few years. That’s usually the nature of the free-agent game, you make more money for a few years and you eventually get cut when a team has to make salary cap cuts. After all, free agents aren’t viewed the same, more or less, as drafted players. Drafted players are far more important to the legacy of a GM than a free agent, so if it means re-signing one of his guys for someone else’s guy, you usually know which way it’s going to break.
The Browns no longer have to worry about that if they continue to manage their finances and expectations for the cap. The Browns can keep everyone they recently signed and still go and try to secure Conklin to a big extension to keep one of the best tackles in football in Cleveland.