The Browns announced Tuesday that they have terminated the contracts of quarterback Josh McCown and defensive back Tramon Williams.
McCown was due $4.375 million between salary and bonuses. The 37-year old quarterback intends to continue his NFL career, as long as he can find a way onto an NFL roster. He has proven to be a valuable backup quarterback throughout his 14 seasons in the league and should attract the attention of at least one organization going forward.
DB Tramon Williams signed a 3-year, $21 million deal in 2015. Williams started 22 of the 27 games he appeared in for Cleveland in the past two seasons. He was due to make $5.7 million with a $1.3 million roster bonus in 2017. Williams struggled with knee and shoulder ailments throughout the 2016 season, forcing him to miss five contests. Going on 34, Williams also played some safety down the stretch in 2016, and will likely look to market his versatility as a free agent.
Neither move should have come as a surprise. The moves leave the Browns with about $105 million in salary-cap room for the 2017 roster. The team carried over $50 million in cap room from 2016 to 2017.
The amount of space raises the possibility of adding a quarterback via free agency (Tyrod Taylor, Kirk Cousins), or attempting to trade for one (Jimmy Garoppolo). It will also make it easier for the Browns to franchise Terrelle Pryor.
Also, look for the Browns to spend big to get some help on defense, a few name to keep in mind:
- CB Trumaine Johnson-above-average CB who played for Gregg Williams.
- CB Stephen Gilmore-will demand top dollar and the Browns have the money.
- G Larrry Walford-only 25 years old and an instant upgrade on a position of need.
- S TJ McDonald-played for Williams and will likely follow Johnson here. Will help younger players learn the system and he is just 25.