Why The Browns Only Need $2,041,008 In Cap Space To Sign Their Rookies

How much will signing the Browns rookie class cost in cap space is a question I have seen written wrong so many times so I decided to break down the numbers. We will look at how much they will need to pay to sign them, which ones won’t be counted on the cap when they sign and what it means when we cut the roster to 53 players.

How Much Do The Rookies Get?

Our friends at Over The Cap have a wonderful interactive chart where you can click on every pick in the draft and see what their contract will be each of the four years and their signing bonus too.

In terms of year one salary cap costs here is what each player will earn:
Pick 26 – $2,317,960
Pick 59 – $1,041,726
Pick 89 – $885,731
Pick 91 – $884,186
Pick 110 – $858,105
Pick 132 – $829,287
Pick 169 – $734,146
Pick 211 – $700,286
Pick 257 – $679,581

Which Ones Count On The Salary Cap?

Not all-rookie salaries will count on the salary cap, this is because NFL teams only need to account for the 51 most expensive players on the salary cap during the offseason. Teams can have up to 90 players on their roster so the 52nd most expensive onwards are excluded when making sure a team remains salary cap compliant.

If we check on the Browns’ page on Over The Cap then we can see anyone earning $850,000 or less won’t make it into the top 51 players for these calculations. This means picks 132, 169, 211 & 257 won’t make it into the calculation.

That leaves us with 5 players over that threshold who we need salary cap space for. If we add these contracts up ($2,317,960 + $1,041,726 + $885,731 + $884,186 + $858,105) then we get $5,987,708.

At the same time, we are forcing five players off of the top 51 calculation so we would need to remove these from the equation. The deals for the players in the 46-51 range are all $850,000 so it would be $4,250,000 in total.

For the rookies that earn less than the top 51 players, we still have to add the signing bonus money into the calculations. The full amount isn’t included though. So for the four picks we have $169,287, $74,146, $40,286 & $19,581, all together this comes to $303,300.

This means the salary cap space the Browns would need to sign this rookie class is ($5,987,708 – $4,250,000) + $303,300, which is $2,041,008.

When Cutting The Roster To 53 Players

When the Browns cut their roster to 53 players they will need to take account of the dead cap of all the players who have been given guaranteed salary or signing bonus money. At the same time, they will need to account for the 52nd and 53rd players which they don’t need to worry about during the season.

At the same time though they will gain back a large amount of salary cap space because there will be expensive veterans that don’t make the roster in place of some of these younger players that were drafted in the later picks.

Any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @JackDuffin. The DMs are open for any salary cap/roster construction questions you have.

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