Monday, March 3, 2014
Browns will have plenty of salary-cap space
By Pat McManamon
If the Cleveland Browns are not active in free agency, it won’t be because they lack the ability.
The NFL’s salary cap for 2014 is $133 million.
Heading into Monday, the Browns are $52.2 million under the cap, a figure that will be fluid depending on who is signed or released.
That’s a ton of room to add, sign or give extensions to deserving players.
The first order of business will be to decide if the Browns want to use the franchise tag, with the deadline set for 4 p.m. ET Monday.
The Browns' two candidates to be tagged are center Alex Mack and safety T.J. Ward. Mack would cost $11.6 million, and Ward $8.4 million.
The team could work out a new contract with both prior to placing the tag on them, but must declare their franchise tag intentions by 4.
The Browns have the cap space to cover the cost of either player; they then could continue negotiations to sign them while effectively keeping him off the free-agent market, but a new deal would have to be agreed to by July 15.
Players the Browns may look to give contract extensions to include cornerback Joe Haden, receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron. Linebacker Jabaal Sheard also could be considered.
According to ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert, the teams with the most salary-cap room will be the Raiders, Jaguars, Browns, Colts, Dolphins, Packers, Vikings, Bengals, Redskins and Jets.