So we all know TJ Ward and Alex Mack are scheduled to be free agents of some kind at the end of the season; we also know the Browns have the cash to resign both of them to healthy contracts. I'm sure Banner/Lombardi would like to keep them - the question is, how much?
In terms of safeties, you have a definite top tier of players, earning around the $6-7m mark:
Would you rank Ward in that bracket? The next area is around $4-4.5m, so a reasonable saving. Would you give Ward the big money?
Mack's already in the top 5 in the league, but is still a ways behind being the top earner:
Scott Wells $5,500,000
Max UngeratCenter $4,900,000
Jeremy ZuttahatCenter $3,875,000
Alex MackatCenter $3,732,000
Chris MyersatCenter $3,500,000
Assuming Mack's contract counts towards this year's cap, we can give him a $1m bump and still not make a dent in the cap space. Ward is not making anything close to the top safeties right now - according to one site I found he's on $600k this year. So that would be a sizeable dent. Question is, do you give them the elite money?