CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Don’t call Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam cheap.
According to figures released by the NFL Players Association to agents and published on their official Twitter account Monday, the Cleveland Browns spent the seventh-most leaguewide on their cash payroll in 2017 to not win a single football game.
The Haslams spent a whopping $177,107,417 on their winless team the NFLPA reported. That comes out to $11,069,213.60 per loss in 2017.
Detroit had the most expensive team at over $204.466 million while Dallas spent the least at just under $116 million the players association said.
So how did the Browns blow through that kind of cash and not win a game?
Here’s a look at some of the most expensive players using data from Spotrac.com.
Myles Garrett, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft, was the most expensive costing $20.7 million in signing bonus and salary. Right guard Kevin Zeitler, added in free agency last March from Cincinnati, cost $18 million – $12 million of that in signing bonus alone. Linebacker Jamie Collins was paid $15.85 million after being re-signed last January, left tackle Joe Thomas $14.5 million, left guard Joel Bitonio $11.66 million and linebacker Christian Kirksey $9.797 million in salary plus signing and/or roster bonuses.
That’s a total of $90.5 million for 6 players.
The most wasteful spending came on quarterback Brock Osweiler and receiver Kenny Britt. Combined the Browns essentially flushed nearly $26 million down the drain. Osweiler was paid $15.225 million (they got to deduct his $775,000 Broncos salary) while Britt bagged $10.5 million.
The good news for the Browns is that under the salary cap rules, bonus money is calculated over the length of a contract lowering players’ cap figures significantly. However if a player is cut or traded before the contract is up, the remaining balance on that pro-rated figure becomes an immediate charge to the current cap, also known as a cap hit.
Regardless of their cash payroll, the Browns will still carry over the most salary cap space of any team at $58.9 million from the 2017 to 2018 league year and it is believed they’ll have in excess of $110 million in space for 2018.
With a pair of top-5 draft picks plus the expectation they’ll be active in free agency, 2018 could be just as or even more expensive thanks to more hefty signing bonuses that will have to be paid.