The Cleveland Browns have restructured the contract of quarterback Deshaun Watson. This puts the team below the 2023 salary cap just ahead of the new league year and the start of free agency.
Before the restructuring, the Browns were approximately $14 million over the salary cap for the upcoming season. After the new deal, which will drop Watson’s 2023 salary from $46 million to $1.16 million but make a huge chunk of the difference a signing bonus and a cap hit of approx. $19 million. This sets the Browns around $22 million under the cap, helping the team sign some much needed free agents.
This likely will not be the only time Watson’s contract gets restructuring. Due to the cap hits that the salary creates for the next three seasons another restructuring seems inevitable. The cap hit for those years will go up to $63.9 million, more than three times the amount of this season.
Watson, who was given a five-year, $230 million contract, all which is fully guaranteed, was suspended for the first eleven games of the 2022 season. The suspension was due to sexual harassment allegations. Watson made his Browns debut against his former team the Houston Texans in Week 11. With Watson under center, the Browns finished the season with a 3-3 record. He looks to rebound in 2023 by proving himself worthy of the largest guaranteed contract in the NFL. Some fans see this restructuring as a genius move. Other fans are concerned about the future financial implications. Regardless, what they can agree on is wanting their team to win.
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