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Cleveland Browns 2022 free agency outlook

The Browns head into 2022 free agency coming off an 8-9 season. We break down their free agents, cap space, and more.

Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Cleveland Browns looks on during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on January 3, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

After making the playoffs in 2020, the Cleveland Browns could not replicate that same type of success this season. The Browns finished in third place in the AFC North with a record of 8-9.

Cleveland dealt with a multitude of injuries during the season on offense and released star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Browns will now have to fill that void left by OBJ in the offseason, while finding room to potentially re-sign Jadeveon Clowney and David Njoku.

Last season’s salary cap number dropped to $182.5 million as the league dealt with the pandemic, but the 2022 cap is expected to rebound back up to $208 million, according to Over The Cap. That increase should loosen a few team pocketbooks this offseason.

Franchise/Transition Tag possibilities

The 29-year-old Clowney had a solid bounce back season playing alongside Myles Garrett, who was a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. The veteran defensive end recorded 37 combined tackles, 19 quarterback hits, and nine sacks. The last time Clowney posted nine or more sacks was in 2018 with the Texans.

If the Browns gave Clowney the franchise tag, it would cost them $17.8 million. Therefore, a long-term deal might be in the cards as his calculated market value is a four-year deal worth $51.1 million ($12.7 million). I don’t think Njoku gets the franchise tag despite having one of his better seasons in 2021.

Salary cap

Estimated 2022 cap space: ($25 million)

Notable unrestricted free agents

Cleveland Browns 2022 UFAs

Player Pos. 2021 Team Snaps Age 2022 Team
Player Pos. 2021 Team Snaps Age 2022 Team
Anthony Walker Jr. LB Browns 62.60% 27
David Njoku TE Browns 60.50% 26
Jadeveon Clowney EDGE Browns 60.40% 29
Malik Jackson IDL Browns 57.80% 32
Ronnie Harrison S Browns 52.10% 25
Rashard Higgins WR Browns 46.00% 28
Malcolm Smith LB Browns 37.90% 33
M.J. Stewart S Browns 29.20% 27
Takkarist McKinley EDGE Browns 28.50% 27
Sheldon Day IDL Browns 20.90% 28
Dustin Colquitt P Browns 19.60% 40
Ifeadi Odenigbo EDGE Browns 14.60% 28
Elijah Lee LB Browns 6.50% 26
Nick Mullens QB Browns 5.10% 27
Chris Hubbard LT Browns 3.50% 31
Ryan Switzer WR Browns 0.00% 28