Cutting Haden could be the final precursor to cutting Osweiler

AP

When it comes to NFL bookkeeping, the salary cap receives most of the focus. But a far more important concept within each of 32 organizations is the budget.

Set each year by the people who own the team, the budget determines how much is available to be devoted to paying players, regardless of whether those players are on the team or not — and regardless of whether the salary cap easily allows those transactions.

For the Browns, some see the decision to remove cornerback Joe Haden‘s $11 million from the books as a precursor to paying quarterback Brock Osweiler up to $16 million to not play for the team. Cutting Osweiler, whose salary is fully guaranteed, would be the last step of a process that commenced in March, when the Browns bought a second-round pick from the Texans by taking on Osweiler’s contract.

It’s been believed for months that the Browns eventually would cut Osweiler if they can’t trade him. Barring a freak Bridgewater-style injury over the next week or so, there will be no market for Osweiler. So the Browns may indeed cut him, hopeful that someone else would sign him to a one-year minimum deal of $775,000 and reduce the amount the Browns will eat to $15.225 million.

Dumping Haden’s $11 million salary (with $4 million guaranteed, subject to offset) narrows the net cash consequence of the Osweiler trade to $4.225 million. Coupled with the recent release of defensive linemen Desmond Bryant, the Browns already have cleared the $15.225 million (or $16 million), and then some.

31 responses to “Cutting Haden could be the final precursor to cutting Osweiler

  1. So the net result is that the browns traded Joe Haden and $4M for a second round pick?

  2. pkrjones says:
    August 30, 2017 at 12:08 pm
    Is there a prize for being the 1st team to $40Mil dead money in a single season?
    ———————

    If there is the Saints already won it with $42m in dead money last year. The new high water mark for mismanagement, eclipsing the previous high of $34m they also set the year before and still no one talks about it.

  3. But I thought “Sashi” was the smartest guy in the room? Didnt he hire former baseball guys so he could use “analytics” and play “moneyball”?

  4. scarletmacaw says:
    August 30, 2017 at 11:53 am
    So the net result is that the browns traded Joe Haden and $4M for a second round pick?
    ______________________________________________________________
    Nope, Brock’s contract is fully guaranteed so it was an extra 16 mill on top of that.

  5. The Browns got a low 2nd round pick but had to give up a high 3rd round pick, for the obligation to pay Osweiller for a year.

    The Browns came out poorly in this trade, and the Texans came out ahead.

  6. jagsfan1 says:
    August 30, 2017 at 12:28 pm
    But I thought “Sashi” was the smartest guy in the room? Didnt he hire former baseball guys so he could use “analytics” and play “moneyball”?

    —-

    Says a Jags fan who just named a poor QB as their starter – again – and who has no chance at achieving this year and likely for a few years to come.

    Everyone plays analytics, including your team they just don’t do it very well. It’s been done since the salary cap came into being. This is good GMing. Fits within the cap, focuses on young, talented players instead of overhyped players with bloated contracts. The Browns offset a good move buying a pick by moving underperforming players with bloated contracts off the books. I love Haden but he is not the player he was when they signed the contract.

  7. Don’t know why people are getting on the Browns about these moves. To me, it makes sense. An added 2nd round pick for a rebuilding team is worth every penny of that 16 mil. And if, as one beat writer reported, Haden is the 3rd best corner on the team, it doesn’t warrant the $11 million owed to him. Aren’t they doing exactly what they should? Casting off overpaid players who don’t contribute? I’m sure they tested trade waters and didn’t find a buyer. Great moves from a front office I was critical with in their first off-season. I think they have drafted well both seasons and this season’s free agency period is much better. News flash to the rest of the NFL, we aren’t the league’s doormat any more. They are going to find out quickly that the Browns defense is legit, there are no more automatic wins when you see Cleveland on the schedule.

  8. realkelevra: It’s what casual fans do. They can throw out buzz-words like “moneyball” and that’s the extent of it. They seem to think a pro-bowler stays pro-bowl caliber until the end of his career as well.

    daburgher: Have you actually watched as Steeler receivers have torched Haden the last how-many-years??

  9. How can anyone say that the $16m they paid for that 2nd round pick is a good move?

    Think of it this way, a 2nd round pick’s average contract is worth $5.5m over 4 years. So you think paying $16m in today’s cash for something that’s going to cost you an additional $5.5m is a good deal?

    You COULD argue it’s a good deal if that 2nd round pick ends up being a guy who contributes to the team for the 4 years of his contract, but seriously, what are the odds that this pick will pan out for any team, let alone the one that gets picked by the Browns brass?

    They’r essentially paying $21m for an unknown commodity in the hopes that the player they get will be good. That doesn’t sound like a great deal to me.

  10. The fake QB competition was just a smoke screen. After reading the owners comments it’s obvious they are shooting for 2018 and beyond.

  11. They should go ahead and cut Osweiler. It’s obvious that no one wants him in a trade. Why keep him around? This is his third team and he has yet to do anything of significance. (Oh, he won a few games in Denver, but so did noodle-armed Manning, remember?) Get rid of Brock, eat his salary for this year, and free up cap space for next season. The Browns are shaping up to be contenders in another year or two–and Osweiler, like Haden, is just dead weight.

  12. I guess I don’t get it. so for a 2nd round pick… they get a 16 million dollar QB and salary. They will cut him.. But to offset that they get rid of 2 players that are certainly better than a 2nd round pick will be. Haden alone is better than probably any 2nd rounder they will get next year. Creative accounting I guess. But to me it would make more sense to not have the 2nd round pick…and have Haden.

  13. v2787 says:
    August 30, 2017 at 2:04 pm
    They should go ahead and cut Osweiler. It’s obvious that no one wants him in a trade. Why keep him around?
    —————————
    That is likely true that he isn’t wanted. But, they have to do their due diligence and check before cutting him. If a team were willing to pay him $1.5 million to be a backup, and to assure he signed with them and not some other team, then a trade would make sense for both teams. The Browns would have to cover the rest of the salary, but it would save them a little money. And, if a team truly wanted him, waiting until he is cut does not guarantee he would sign with them. Now, I don’t know if any team wants him badly enough to pay a little extra, but the Browns aren’t out anything to make some phone calls for a day or two before they have to cut him.

  14. I get the feeling that the Browns owners might not be as “well off” as they would like folks to believe. Almost every personnel move they make seems to come down to dollars and cents.

    The Browns not re-signing some of their best players, allowing them to become free agents, the past two seasons. That makes “no football sense.”

    The Browns being near the top in cap space available the last 5 seasons, yet refusing to re-sign their best players. Again, that makes “no football sense”…

    When we look at the “Spotrac cap space tracker”, it shows the Browns well under the cap, ranking #1 in 2016 with 47.2 million dollars of cap space…yet they can’t find the money to sign their own free agents…

    Something just doesn’t seem to add up in Cleveland.

  15. Wait a minute doesn’t Brock have the right to play, where is all the out rage with a QB being cut. Oh I hope some one picks him up right away or oh my golly more demonstrations.

  16. Good Lord, it’s obvious most of your running your mouths don’t watch the Browns. Haden lost a step a few years ago. He was a gifted CB and one of our bright spots until he wasn’t. He was injured 2 years ago and last year had moments of brilliance but was beat over and over again. He isn’t the tallest CB and his athleticism made up for that but no more. I like him and am sorry he is playing for Pittsburgh but glad he found a home so quickly.

    I know it’s just so much fun to rag on Cleveland fans and the team…and the team has deserved it because since we got royally screwed over and our well put together Super Bowl team went to Baltimore and gave them a damn ring before Cleveland even got the chance, we have sucked. That is changing. I refuse to make any big pronouncements on how great we are going to be, but I think it will at least be watchable-and headed in the right direction.

  17. “grumpysal says:
    August 30, 2017 at 1:39 pm
    How can anyone say that the $16m they paid for that 2nd round pick is a good move?

    Think of it this way, a 2nd round pick’s average contract is worth $5.5m over 4 years. So you think paying $16m in today’s cash for something that’s going to cost you an additional $5.5m is a good deal?

    You COULD argue it’s a good deal if that 2nd round pick ends up being a guy who contributes to the team for the 4 years of his contract, but seriously, what are the odds that this pick will pan out for any team, let alone the one that gets picked by the Browns brass?”

    You are so used to blindly making fun of the team that you don’t even bother to see what they are doing. That amount for a 2nd round pick with a chance to find a franchise qb makes total sense on a rebuilding team with a HUGE cap and no answer at qb at the time the deal hit. 16 mil is nose wipe money to them. And you clearly aren’t aware it’s a different front office who has drafted quite well over their first couple drafts. You also likely haven’t seen a seen a single pre-season game where the Browns have given up a combined 29 points in 3 games. Less than 10 a game. And the 1st string has looked pretty darn dominant while doing it. So maybe go back to the burning lake jokes, they are about as fresh as your assessment of the team.

  18. Bottomline: By drafting DeShone Kizer, the Browns are simply dollar-cost averaging. By shedding not-so-necessary contracts (Joe Haden) the Browns can look at Brock and DeShone as a glass-half empty and a glass-half full–at the same time. Which essentially gives them a full glass, right?

    If Kizer does well, then he offsets the weight of the Osweiler deal. How? His salary is less than $500k and his cap is less than $900k. Now, if that 2018 second round pick works out, then that’s the gravy on top. The statistical probability of a 2nd round pick become a five-year starter is certainly quantifiable. For a DB drafted in the 2nd round, it’s about 50%. Why take that chance? Because the chances of getting a starting DB in the draft is better than an underwhelming DB whose stats are deteriorating.

    I hope Haden can resurrect his career in Pittsburgh. There aren’t too many former #1 picks that leave Cleveland and do well elsewhere.

    So the Browns roll the dice with Kizer and that 2nd rounder in lieu of keeping Brock as their franchise QB.

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