It's never very interesting to read about salary caps, salaries, and financial numbers associated with NFL teams.
Despite the boring nature of this topic, do not underestimate its importance to the success of a franchise. The use of money will have more to do with a team's winning percentage than any other factor.
The Cleveland Browns will make changes at the end of this season. The dismal, disappointing performance of the team assures this.
Like all fans, I have my opinion of who should go and who should stay. With this in mind, I did a little financial research to see how certain changes would affect the salary cap.
Now, I'm not a GM. There are consequences to unloading players. However, football is different from the other major sports in that a player's salary is not guaranteed. If he's cut, he doesn't get paid. The only money guaranteed is the signing bonus. Teams take a hit on this when cutting a player.
My first player to shed is Kellen Winslow. He's injury prone and has missed so many games that he is a gamble at best. He's had at least five operations on his knee, never seems content and is vocal when he should be quiet. He has a vulture for an agent (Drew Rosenhaus) and any play could be his last. He counted for over $4.5 million against this year's salary cap.
Derek Anderson should be gone. It's not his fault that the team gave him a contract that will prohibit their ability to trade him. He doesn't have the talent to be the starter and makes way too much money to be a backup. He counted for over $3.3 million against the cap.
Donte' Stallworth has been a complete bust. He's not thrown to on the rare occasion that he's dressed for a game. He doesn't seem to want to play for this team and shouldn't. He's collecting over $1.4 million this year.
What I feel is my most controversial choice is Jamal Lewis. I'm seeing his talent wane before my eyes. He's approaching the line of scrimmage with hesitation and seems to have "happy feet" once he gets there. He's a downhill runner who seems to be hitting creases with less and less authority. His salary this year is $6.5 million and I don't feel that he's worth anything near that.
Some casualties will be painless. I don't see Joe Jurevicius coming back. He put over $3 million against the cap. Willie McGinest will surely retire. That will release over $3.6 million.
My "wish list" will give the Browns about $20 million in flexibility. I know that some of that will be spent immediately on a myriad of things. Players traded, draft picks, and some signing-bonus hits will have to be taken.
Still, they can try to seduce a few missing cogs; a bonafide pass rushing end, a corner back who strikes fear in a quarterback and, perhaps, a receiver with good hands!
It'll be fun to watch what happens and second-guess the decision makers. Wish I was a GM!