Cap check: $35.6 million in cap space remains for Browns

A look at how GM John Dorsey has used the team's cap so far this offseason

Daryl Ruiter
March 21, 2019 - 3:14 pm

© Daryl Ruiter - 92.3 The Fan


Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey has spent nearly $43 million of the estimated $78.5 million in salary cap space he started with over a week ago.

According to figures provided by the NFL players Association, as of Thursday afternoon, the Browns have $35,601,422 in salary cap space remaining meaning they are probably done spending big on free agents this year.

In the NFL cap space burns quickly. So where did it all go?

The acquisition of receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and defensive end Olivier Vernon from the New York Giants was the most expensive spend.

Beckham counts $17.0 million against the cap and Vernon $15.5 million. The Browns saved $2.8 million in cap space by trading right guard Kevin Zeitler while losing $1,425,543 in space for safety Jabrill Peppers. The 17th pick the Browns sent to New York would’ve counted $2,394,232 against the cap and the 95th pick $702,609 giving Dorsey and the Browns a hidden cap savings of $3,096,841.

So, in all, the trade carved $28,028,702 off the 2019 cap.

Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who signed a three-year, $37 million deal as a free agent, is a $9,666,666 cap charge for 2019.

Backup offensive linemen Kendall Lamm ($1,687,500) and Eric Kush ($1,525,000) subtract another $3,212,500 in space. Linebacker Adarius Taylor lops off another $2,040,625 in cap room bringing the total offseason cap spend to date to approximately $42,948,493.  

Not having a first-round pick will help the Browns’ cap this year.

The No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft is expected to get a contract worth $34.913 million and count $6.347 million against the 2019 salary cap while the 32nd pick in the first round will be a $1.826 million cap charge.

According to, here are the estimated total contract values and 2019 cap hits for the Browns’ eight draft picks.

Round 2: No. 49 – $5.9 million; $1,076,377

Round 3: No. 80 – $3.663 million; $733,398

Round 4: No. 119 – $3.235 million; $673,738

Round 5: No. 144 (via Jacksonville for RB Carlos Hyde) – $2.846 million; $576,420

Round 5: No. 155 – $2.826 million; $571,615

Round 5: No. 170 (via New England for WR Josh Gordon) – $2.778 million; $559,621

Round 6: No. 189 – $2.688 million; $537,014

Round 7: No. 221 (via Jacksonville for QB Cody Kessler) – $2.61 million; $520,287

That means Cleveland’s 2019 draft pool will cost $5,248,470 against the cap leaving the Browns with $30,352,952 in actual cap space remaining this year.

Dorsey could accrue additional cap savings by spinning off or consolidating a few of those picks or rolling them into next year’s draft through trades.

Our calculations don’t factor in the addition of undrafted free agents or a possible contract extension for safety Damarious Randall, who is currently a $9.069 million cap charge, either.

When the dust settles on 2019, expect the Browns to eventually roll over between $25-28 million to the 2020 league year, a significant drop from the $56,581,986 they rolled over from 2018.