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Free Agency: Simulator Proves Difficult Negotiations Ahead For Browns

Free Agency
Let’s think about sports again and not focus on Coronavirus. NFL free agency and the draft are expected to start on time. The Browns currently have the seventh most cap space in the NFL with $61,964,940. The team will likely release Olivier Vernon. If that happens, the Browns will have $85,248,193 in total cap space. Cleveland should be a big spender in free agency.
According to the Fanspeak cap space simulator, re-signing wide receiver Rashard Higgins will prove to be difficult. Offering a $7 million salary for seven years and 80% guaranteed money will result in a rejection. Don’t expect the Browns to keep Higgins unless they offer a contract worth at least $7.5 million a year for 5-7 years. Even attempting to resign cornerback Phillip Gaines to a $49 million for 7 years with 90% guaranteed money is impossible. Based on that data, the remaining Browns free agents will be on the free agency market.
Offers
Byron Jones- Eagles CB
$15 million a year
seven Years
95% guaranteed
Devin Funchess Panthers Wide Receiver
$8.5 million a year
seven Years
95% guaranteed
Halapouivaati Vitai- OT- Philadelphia Eagles
$9 Million year
seven years
95% guaranteed
Jason Peters-OT- Philadelphia Eagles
$11 million a year
two years
90% guaranteed
Arik Armstead- DE- San Francisco 49ers
$16 Million a year
seven years
95% guaranteed
Linebacker Danny Trevathan
$10.5 Million
four years
90% guaranteed
Funchess, Jones, Peters, Armstead, Trevathan, and Vitai all declined offers according to the simulator. Vitai opted for the three year deal with the Carolina Panthers for 6,400,000 a year. As you can see, this free agency period could be difficult for the Browns as they have to pay even more that these offers. It was time to go back to the drawing board and try this again from day one.
Byron Jones- CB-Dallas Cowboys
$20 million a year
five years
95% guaranteed
Devin Funchess- Wide Receiver- Carolina Panthers
$9.5 million a year
seven years
95% guaranteed
Danny Trevathan-Linebacker- Denver Broncos
$15 million a year
three years
95% guaranteed
Jason Peters-OT- Philadelphia Eagles
$16 million a year
two years
100% guaranteed
Bryan Bulaga- OT-Green Bay Packers
$16 million a year
five years
100% guaranteed
Arik Armstead-DE- San Francisco 49ers
$18 million a year
seven years
100% guaranteed
All of these offers were declined in the simulator. Here is another attempt.
Byron Jones- CB- Dallas Cowboys
$25 million a year
five years
100 % guaranteed
Arik Armstead- DE- San Francisco 49ers
$26 million a year
seven years
100% guaranteed
Sean Lee- LB- Dallas Cowboys
$15 million a year
four years
95% guaranteed
Jack Conklin- OT- Tennessee Titans
$28 million a year
seven years
100% guaranteed
These offers were declined.
Onto the second day of free agency!
Byron Jones- CB- Dallas Cowboys
$30 million a year
seven years
$100 guaranteed
Linebacker Blake Martinez-LB- Green Bay Packers
$25 million a year
seven years
95% guaranteed
Jack Conklin OT- Tennessee Titans
$30 million a year
seven years
100% guaranteed
Conklin rejected the offer and signed for three years, 14,600,000 per year with the Bills. All other offers including the one still available to Armstead were rejected.
Onto day three!
Byron Jones-CB- Dallas Cowboys
$30 million a year
three years
100% guaranteed
Chris Harris- CB- Denver Broncos
$25 million a year
three years
95% guaranteed
Byron Jones declined the offer and signed with the Philadelphia Eagles for three years, 15,600,000 a year. Chris Harris declined the offer. According to the simulator, these unreal salaries aren’t enough to lure the top free agents to Cleveland. Onto day four!
Jimmie Ward- CB- San Francisco 49ers
$8.5 million a year
five years
95% guaranteed
Ward declined the offer.
Instead of going for the top names, it was time to offer middle-tier free agents realistic deals and maybe a few top free agents bigger deals.
Matt Kalil- OT- Carolina Panthers
$9 million per year
four years
65% guaranteed
Demar Dotson-OT- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
$8.5 million a year
two years
95% guaranteed
Kendall Fuller- CB- Chicago Bears
$10 million per year
four years
70% guaranteed
Bud Dupree- DE- Pittsburgh Steelers
$11 million a year
seven years
80% guaranteed
Kevin White- WR- Arizona Cardinals
$6.5 million
three years
70% guaranteed
Robby Anderson- WR- New York Jets
$15 million
seven years
95% guaranteed
All of these offers were declined as well.
Onto day two, again!
Matt Kalil- OT- Carolina Panthers
$10.5 million a year
three years
95% guaranteed
Demar Dotson- OT- Tampa Bay Buccaneers-
$12 million a year
two years
95% guaranteed
Bud Dupree- Defensive End- Pittsburgh Steelers
$15 million a year
five years
90% guaranteed
Kendell Fuller- CB- Chicago Bears
$11.5 million a year
five years
95% guaranteed
Robby Anderson- WR- New York Jets
$15.5 million a year
seven years
100% guaranteed
Anthony Harris- S- Minnesota Vikings
$16 million a year
five years
95% guaranteed
Everson Griffen- DE- Minnesota Vikings
$13 million a year
two years
95% guaranteed
This time, progress was made. Everson Griffen accepted the two-year deal. Unfortunately, Kendell Fuller signed with the New York Jets for five years, $10,600,000 per year. All other offers were declined.
Onto day three!
Everson Griffen- Signed
Demar Dotson- OT- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
$14 million a year
two years
95% guaranteed
Matt Kalil- OT- Carolina Panthers
$14 million a year
three years
95% guaranteed
Anthony Harris- S- Minnesota Vikings
$18 million a year
five years
100% guaranteed
Robby Anderson- WR- New York Jets
$17 million a year
seven years
100% guaranteed
Devin Funchess- WR- Carolina Panthers
$11 million a year
five years
95% guaranteed
Andrus Peat- G- New Orleans Saints
$13 million a year
seven years
95% guaranteed
Robby Anderson declined the offer and signed with the Indianapolis Colts for four years, $10,400,000 per year. Demar Dotson declined the offer and signed with the Arizona Cardinals for years, $9,900,000. All other remaining offers were declined.
Onto day four
Andrus Peat-G-New Orleans Saints
$14 million a year
four years
95% guaranteed
Anthony Harris
$18.5 million a year
three years
100% guaranteed
Richard Sherman- CB- San Francisco 49ers
$13 million a year
two years
95% guaranteed
All offers were declined
A few things were made clear by these simulations.
1. The Browns may have the space to sign just about anyone but overpaying by leaps and bounds won’t result in signings.
2. Most free agents will look for deals between two to five years. Six to seven-year deals will result in rejected offers.
3. Most top players will sign deals worth between $10-18 million
4. Although reports link top-name free agents like Jack Conklin and Anthony Harris to the Browns, these players will be next to impossible to sign unless General Manager Andrew Berry sells them on team vision and role on the team.
Although the simulator predicted most deals were rejected, this gives the fans, media, and front office personnel a better idea of what to expect as well as prepare for.
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