CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns general manager is no stranger to contract restructures, and over the weekend he put his skills to the test, reworking the contract of two new Cleveland Browns players to open up the salary cap with the expectation of more signings to come.
Berry and the Browns restructured newly acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper’s contract, which will save them over $15 in salary cap space this year. How did he do that? By converting most of Cooper's $20 million base salary into a signing bonus and adding two void years on to the contract, as NFL Network's Tom Pelissero first reported.
The #Browns restructured WR Amari Cooper’s contract, converting most of his $20 million base salary into a signing bonus, adding two void years and saving over $15M on the 2022 salary cap.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 19, 2022
That move wasn't the only way Berry addressed the cap, structuring the mega-deal with new quarterback Deshaun Watson so that he receives a $1 million base salary and a cap hit of just over $10 million.
Between Cooper's restructure and Watson's contract, the two new Browns will only account for roughly a combined $15 hit to the salary cap.
Berry's work to clear salary cap space gives the Browns the freedom to continue signing other players.
Among those players the team hopes to re-sign is defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. According to a league source, the Browns have offered Clowney a contract in hopes to bring him back. Clowney does not have a timetable for a decision, and the Browns will have to wait for his answer, which history shows tends to happen in his own time.
Source says that the #Browns have sent an offer to DE Jadeveon Clowney. No word on what a timetable for acceptance would look like, but the numbers in the offer may be larger than originally thought.— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) March 19, 2022
As Andrew Berry said in January, they'll have to "see what the future holds."
Additionally, the team has expressed an interest in bringing back defensive end Takk McKinley this season. Before McKinley makes a decision to return to Cleveland or sign elsewhere, he'll be focusing on recovering from the ruptured Achilles he sustained last season.
Clearing the salary cap will be important for the Browns as they continue to add talent across the roster, and so far, Berry has shown its one of his true strengths.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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