Who are the most overpaid and underpaid Cleveland Browns currently on the roster?
At first glance, the team looks to have a very balanced salary situation. This is mainly due to a perceived stringent spending plan that is focused on re-signing players already on the team rather than bringing in big-contract free agents.
GM Tom Heckert said, according to Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, Ohio:
“We’re not going to go crazy in free agency,” Heckert said. “Are we targeting people? Yes, but you don’t win football games by signing a bunch of free agents. You just don’t. Now can they help you? Certainly, and if there’s guys that we think can help us we’ll definitely do, it but it’s easier said than done.”
The Cleveland Browns have a very balanced roster and have succeeded thus far in the realm of salary cap adherence and player contract management. This is mostly due to the youth movement that has much of the roster playing on rookie contracts.
It is interesting, then, to note that some of the highest paid players on the roster are free agents Heckert himself has brought in to the team. Dimitri Patterson, Juqua Parker, Scott Fujita, Usama Young and Benjamin Watson are all free agents who earn in the top 11 of player salaries of the team.
Chris Gocong and Sheldon Brown, former players under Heckert’s management as Philadelphia Eagles, were acquired via trade by Heckert and are also within that top 11.
It seems Mr. Heckert isn’t entirely against signing free agents and paying a premium for their services. It also seems that the lull in “big splash” free agency moves has allowed Heckert to conduct business as he sees fit.
He seems to be following through on his pledge to re-sign “his guys” and not overpay for temporary stop-gap players.
Or has he?