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#pounditWednesday, April 17, 2024

Browns make move to save big money against salary cap

A Cleveland Browns helmet on the grass

Dec. 18, 2011; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detailed view of a Cleveland Browns helmet sitting on the field against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Browns 20-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns made a big move on Wednesday to improve their salary cap situation.

The Browns restructured Denzel Ward’s contract to clear $11.359 million in salary cap space, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.

Ward had signed a 5-year, $100.5 million contract in 2022. He took home around $21 million in 2022 and $22 million in 2023. He converted just over $14 million in base salary into a signing bonus in order to ameliorate matters for the Browns and give them more flexibility entering free agency.

The Browns are now in a pretty good cap situation, especially if they’re able to get Nick Chubb to restructure his deal in order to remain with the team. The big issue for them continues to be the Deshaun Watson contract.

Watson is on a 5-year, $230 million contract that is fully guaranteed. He has a base salary of $46 million for each of the next three seasons, but worse than that, he carries a cap hit of nearly $64 million in each season from 2024-2026.

The Browns were able to get Watson to restructure his deal last year. The two sides may be able to do something similar this offseason.

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