Clayton: Browns have some money to play with

This should be an interesting offseason for the Browns, with ESPN’s John Clayton reporting that the team is roughly $21.5 million under the $92 million cap.

Of course, who knows how everything’s going to play out at this point? With the NFL’s labor negotiations at a stand still, there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding this offseason. (Rather than having me regurgitate the info, visit our sister site, The Scores Report, to read all about the ramifications of the stalled labor talks.)

One thing is for sure, though: Only two teams, the Vikings ($24 million) and Cardinals ($21.8), are in a better cap situation than the Browns, and with Phil Savage running things, you’d like to believe that money will be put to good use this year. Especially intriguing is the fact that, because of the labor problems and the cap ramifications that could follow, several teams will be forced to cut talented players in an effort to get back under the cap number:

“In past years, you’d see a lot of guys released who maybe still had some name value but who were really in decline in terms of production,” said one AFC team executive who was working late Tuesday, trying to figure out how to pare down a prohibitively bloated cap figure. “This year? People are going to be stunned — not just by the quantity of players who are cut by Thursday but by the quality, too. It’s going to be ugly. There’s going to be blood in the streets and, compared to past years, it’s going to be from some bluebloods, guys who can still play.”

So let’s see: an abundance of cap space and a surplus of quality talent on the free agent market? Sounds like the perfect storm to me.

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