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Assessing the Browns salary cap situation

The Cleveland Browns still have $25.535 million in available salary cap space, per ESPN’s Roster Management System. That is the second highest amount of cap space in the league, behind only Jacksonville ($28.477 million).

The top 10 salaries under the Browns cap account for $74.068 million, 57.6 percent of the overall salary cap.

The top ten Browns per salary cap cost for 2014:

  1. Joe Thomas, LT -- $12.3 million

  2. Joe Haden, CB -- $12.127 million

  3. Alex Mack, C -- $10 million

  4. Paul Kruger, LB -- $8.2 million

  5. Ahtyba Rubin, DL -- $8.175 million

  6. Andrew Hawkins, WR -- $5.8 million

  7. Karlos Dansby, LB -- $5.5 million

  8. Donte Whitner, S -- $4.25 million

  9. Desmond Bryant, DL -- $4 million

  10. Barkevious Mingo, LB -- $3.715 million

Hawkins is a bit of a surprise. The Browns had to give him a deal to lure him away from Cincinnati, but to make him the sixth-highest paid player salary-cap wise is interesting. Rubin’s charge is hefty, but this is the last year of his deal, and that usually is the most expensive. Kruger’s charge is heavy as well. In 2015, Haden will cost more under the salary cap than Thomas, with Mack dropping to $8 million. This season, though, Mack will be the league’s most expensive center under the cap, and the seventh-most expensive offensive lineman. That means the Browns have two of the most expensive offensive linemen under the cap: Thomas at left tackle (the most expensive lineman, period) and Mack. Haden ranks second among cornerbacks, and Kruger eighth among linebackers.

In terms of cash paid directly to players this season, Joe Haden’s $22.878 million is the team’s highest. The top 10 break down this way:

  1. Joe Haden, CB -- $22.878 million

  2. Joe Thomas, LT -- $11.1 million

  3. Donte Whitner, S -- $11 million

  4. Karlos Dansby, LB -- $10 million

  5. Alex Mack, C -- $10 million

  6. Paul Kruger, LB -- $7 million

  7. Ahtyba Rubin, DL -- $6.8 million

  8. Andrew Hawkins, WR -- $5.8 million

  9. Ben Tate, RB -- $3.25 million

  10. Desmond Bryant, DT -- $3 million