Browns 2013 Salary Situation: Breaking Down Cleveland's Current Cap Status
They've been quiet so far, however, not extending deals to any of their own free agents. That means the odds are high that we'll see the Browns move around a lot of cash in the coming hours, days and weeks.
With Cleveland not expected to retain any of their own free agents, the majority of their spending will come from outside signings. Those additions include linebackers Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves as well as defensive tackle Desmond Bryant.
That puts them at around $32 million under the cap presently. Here's how that breaks down.
Signings and Other Contract Moves
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The Browns did not sign any players prior to the start of free agency and have released just one so far this offseason, giving the Browns ample cash to do practically anything they want following the start of the free-agency period.
March 13: LS Christian Yount given exclusive-rights free agent tender. One-year deal; $555,000. The Browns are now around $29-30 million under the salary cap.
March 13: WR Jordan Norwood given exclusive-rights free agent tender. One-year deal; $555,000.
March 13: RB Chris Ogbonnaya re-signed. Two-year deal; financials undisclosed.
March 13: LB Quentin Groves acquired via free agency. Two-year deal worth $2.8 million. Assuming he makes $1.4 million in 2013, the Browns are about $32 million under the salary cap.
March 12: DT Desmond Bryant acquired via free agency. Five-year deal worth $34 million and $15 million guaranteed according to Albert Breer of NFL Network. He should make around $6 to $7 million in 2013 (and likely no less than $3 million).
March 12: LB Paul Kruger acquired via free agency. Five-year deal worth $41 million; CBS Sports' Jason LaCanfora says $20 million of that is guaranteed. At $8 million per year, the Browns' 2013 salary cap figure is now $38 million under the $123 limit.
Browns Release DE Frostee Rucker
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With the Browns transitioning from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense under new coordinator Ray Horton, it stood to reason that some of their defensive veterans wouldn't return for 2013. The first casualty was defensive end Frostee Rucker, who didn't fit into the team's plans.
Rucker's release ties up $4 million in dead money for 2013. But with the Browns so far under the cap, it's not a significant amount for this year.
Browns Sign LB Paul Kruger
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The Browns have been linked to now-former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger since he was assumed to be hitting the free agency market this year and they managed to nab him in a five-year deal worth $41 million that includes $20 million in guaranteed money.
Assuming his annual cap figure is around $8 million, the Browns got a bargain; there was talk that Kruger could command up to $11 million per year from his new team.
The Browns needed a pass rusher and they did so economically. Though they have a ton of cap space, they didn't take a "price no object" approach and instead paid an appropriate amount for a player they really wanted.
Browns Sign DT Desmond Bryant
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The Browns picked up another fairly pricey addition to their defensive front seven on Tuesday, signing defensive tackle Desmond Bryant to a five-year deal worth $34 million, with $15 million fully guaranteed.
Even with a fairly expensive contract, the Bryant signing still leaves the Browns with around $31 million in salary cap space.
Browns Sign LB Quentin Groves
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Defensive coordinator Ray Horton gets to reunite with one of his players from the Arizona Cardinals with the Browns' signing of linebacker Quentin Groves. Groves became a starter on the outside in Week 11 last season but played in all 16 games.
Groves is still learning the ways of being a 3-4 outside linebacker and thus has performed better against the run rather than in pass rushing situations. For $2.8 million over two years, Groves will likely be used in a situational role this year rather than as a three-down starter.