Sometime Wednesday afternoon we will begin to get reports about more moves being made in the NFL. After teams submitted their initial 53-man rosters on Tuesday, hundreds of players hit free agency and the waiver wire.
Teams have until noon on Wednesday to place a waiver claim on young players who were let go on Tuesday. The Cleveland Browns are thirteenth on the waiver priority order which could limit who they get to claim but there are a few interesting names available.
For the Browns, claiming young players would be more fitting. According to a report, Cleveland has the youngest roster in the NFL:
The NFL’s youngest roster belongs to the Browns, who have an average age of 25.0. Cleveland has consistently sought a young roster (among the four youngest rosters in the league for five consecutive years) in an effort to build for the future, but when that future will finally arrive remains to be seen.
Outside the negative editorial comment at the end, the author accurately describes the team’s goal over the years. Younger players have higher upside, are cheaper and tend to get injured less.
“Cheaper” is a relative term as the Browns have large contracts all over their roster including quarterback, running back, two guards, wide receiver, tight end, two defensive ends, cornerback and safety. Despite those big contracts, GM Andrew Berry has been able to keep the most salary cap space in 2022 after initial roster decisions:
Browns will lead the NFL in cap room with $38.7M, followed by the Cowboys at $15.4M and Panthers at $12.1M
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) August 31, 2022
As noted, Berry has the lead by a wide margin.
Unfortunately for Cleveland, that cap space is needed starting next year when the team is already set to be over the cap by more than $20 million. Thankfully, if nothing else changes, the rollover cap will give Berry space to work with next offseason.
The Browns are young and, for one more year, relatively cheap against the salary cap. Now they have to prove on the field that they are actually good as well.