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Just how good is the Browns’ cap position?

“I’m hearing about the Browns’ good cap position.  How good is it?”

Short answer:  Browns are in better shape, cap-wise, than any other team.

Only the Bengals have a lower current cap hit number (65MM) than the Browns (73MM).  But the Bengals need to sign Andre Smith and Michael Johnson… and there are quite a few other UFAs the Bengals need to sign or replace.

After Bengals and Browns, the Colts sit at 76MM.  All other teams are over 90MM.

Not only that:  many teams are in a world of hurt.


I’ve been consulting spotrac.com/nfl for my data in this 2013 FA project.  I subscribed; not sure what I’m getting that you may not.  (Please let me know if I’m giving out inaccessible links.)  It seems a pretty up-to-date source.  For example, here’s their transaction tracker.

Anyway… if you look at the Browns’ 2013 cap hit page, we’re sitting at $74MM.  I don’t know, I don’t claim to know exactly what this means.  I understand it to be a snapshot of the Browns’ cap situation as it stands now.

It seems useful as a point of reference in relation to other teams’ cap situations.  For example, here are the teams whose FAs we’ve been coveting:

  • Bills = $100.5MM (with Byrd a priority, I’m tipping my hand on FA #3.);
  • Ravens = Disaster.  $106.5MM (Flacco, Kruger, Ellerbe, Pitta -and Reed- all unsigned; but Ray Lewis relief seems probable);
  • Steelers = Disaster.   $133.5MM (Roeth restructure, Harrison dump seem inevitable);
  • Browns = $74.5MM (Sheldon Brown, Cribbs, Dawson are only notable UFAs).

    Still $20MM burning a hole in my pocket.
    (Not my money.)


With the 2013 cap looking like ~$120MM it seems like these teams will figure out something.

But when the Browns are a solid $30MM below all these teams, you can see that we have a rare opportunity to make hay this season.


From here, it looks like even if we use $10MM cap hit on each of the three FAs I’ve targeted (which seems a tad high), there is still dough left to be in the Alex Smith game if we want to be.


More 2013 Team Cap numbers, links.

Niners, $124MM :: will drop Smith, 10MM; won’t re-sign UFA Moss;

Pats, $104MM :: drop Lloyd, don’t re-sign Welker — here’s a home for Wallace, keeping UFAs Vollmer and Talib will be tough.  Patrick Chung might be nice, cheap partner for Ward and also an Oregon Duck;

Giants, $116MM :: Cruz is RFA.

Jets, $143MM :: Disaster.  Nine players over $9MM 2013 cap hit:  Harris, Sanchez, Holmes, Jason Smith, Pace, Cromartie, Ferguson, Mangold, Revis.  Dustin Keller, Leron Landry UFAs.

Saints, $141MM :: Disaster. Two of top five hits are OGs:  Jahri Evans 9.9MM and Ben Grubbs 7.3MM.

Cowboys, $140MM :: Disaster. 16MM tied up in CB Brandon Carr.  11 sack Anthony Spencer is UFA.

Falcons, $117MM :: Brent Grimes is only notable UFA.

Cardinals, $123MM :: Kolb, 13.5MM.   UFA Quentin Groves has been mentioned as possible OLB target.  Me not a fan… we’d be his 4th team since 2008.  I don’t want anyone from the Eagles or Cardinals… there was disease in those locker room and I’d rather avoid all of it.

Panthers, $130MM :: Disaster.  Johnson, Gross, Gamble, Kalil, Beason, Williams.

Bears, $110MM ::

Bengals, $65MM :: Andre Smith, Michael Johnson are priorties.  Maualuga?  Pacman?  No big problems with UFAs.

Broncos, $105MM :: Clady is big UFA.

Lions, $120MM :: Stafford 21MM.  Cliff Avril UFA, I think he’s coming off franchise so they can’t use that again.

Packers, $111MM :: Rodgers 10MM.  UFAs Benson, Jennings, Shields.

Texans, $115MM :: Schaub 11MM.

Colts, $76MM :: Freeney is UFA.

Jags, $96MM :: Cox is UFA.

Chiefs, $106MM :: Dwayne Bowe UFA.

Dolphins, $78MM :: Bush, Hartline, Long, S. Smith UFAs.

Vikings, $108MM :: Henderson UFA.

Raiders, $122MM :: Seymour, Lechler UFA.  Palmer 15MM.

Eagles, $96MM :: DRC, Dunlap UFAs.

Chargers, $115MM :: Rivers 17MM,

Seahawks, $106MM ::

Rams, $125MM :: Amendola UFA.

Bucs, $90MM :: DE Bennett UFA.

Titans, $102MM ::

Skins, $124MM :: Fred Davis UFA.

2013 NFL Franchise Tag numbers, FYI.

The NFLPA recently released the projected franchise tag values for the 2013 season, barring any increase in the overall salary cap.Dec. 28, 2012 (premium)

Quarterback $16.4 million $16 million $14.4 million $14.6 million
Running Back $8.15 million $9.56 million $7.74 million $8.07 million
Wide Receiver $9.52 million $11.4 million $9.51 million $10.35 million
Tight End $5.9 million $7.28 million $5.44 million $5.96 million
Offensive Lineman $10.73 million $10.11 million $9.38 million $9.66 million
Defensive Tackle $7.00 million $12.47 million $7.96 million $8.30 million
Defensive End $12.39 million $13 million $10.60 million $10.98 million
Linebacker $9.68 million $10 million $8.86 million $9.45 million
Cornerback $9.56 million $14 million $10.28 million $10.66 million
Safety $6.45 million $8.8 million $6.21 million $6.79 million
Kicker/Punter $2.81 million $3.17 million $2.65 million $2.92 million


  1. Friend asks me a question about my thoughts on Brad Jones (being that he is CU) and would I want him on the Browns.

    My text message response: No.

    End of discussion…now I can get into a much longer conversation about trying to acquire Crosby if Dawson leaves. Crosby has been tinkered with far too much…but that’s a different conversation that I hope we don’t have to have.

    • jimkanicki says:

      i thought the packers blew it in pre-season when dawson nailed his audition for them. the boxscore shows him 3 out of 4 but his makes were 43 (holding call), 53, 47, 52 before missing from 56. packers shouldve cut a deal that night.

      as far as jones, he might be good. but a twitter account named @BradJonesInc with 24,000 tweets just doesn’t scream AFC North. he should find a nice dome to play in.

      (you saw that i looked at jones vs ellerbe in the FA#2 post, right?)

      • All true. The sad part is that Phil is probably already in San Francisco looking forward to a playoff run next year.

        The best part of the draft to me is the late rounds.

        Since apparently the Browns signed a punter today without even checking on Mo Isom I guess I have to scan the draft boards for kickers.

        I prefer Hopkins over Sturgis.

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