It’s sad to put Joel Bitonio on this list because not only is he arguably the best lineman on the team, he’s right there with Joe Thomas as a future Hall of Famer, and an icon on this team. Yet, like with everyone else on this list, the salary cap doesn’t care how popular you are. It will come for you too.
The Browns can’t keep differing owed money, and to get under the salary cap by enough, the team will have to cut at least two big-ticket players. Bitonio is the wrong age (32), plays the wrong position (line), and is paid too much ($14 million cap hit) to not be the perfect candidate to be traded
If the Browns can find a trade partner for Bitonio, they can save $11 million this year, and only have to carry a $3.6 cap hit for 2023. They will have to pay him $8.7 for 2024, however. Just like with Njoku, Bitonio is likely done in Cleveland after 2023 regardless. They can cut him in 2024 and save $4 million, and if he somehow survives that, he’ll likely be cut in 2025, as the team can save $15 million.
Now, Bitonio may be the least likely of the three to be traded, only because you can save more money by waiting to release, but he could still be dealt.