Estimates are all over the place for what the Browns will likely do in Free Agency. Yes, their total cap space is $108 Million dollars, but no they are not going to spend nearly that much. The carryover (unspent money from previous years) is not likely to be be all blown in one year, plus don't forget to leave some money for all those 2018 draft choices. Hence here is the Village Elliot's attempt to determine what is realistic.
In 2018, the Browns are in very good shape, but not to the tune of $108 million dollars as suggested in some articles. NFL Salary cap space is compiled in overthecap.com. Let's break it down as follows: The Browns have $128 Million committed in salaries for 2018 (which includes $5 million "dead money" to players no longer on the team). That's a very low number. The estimated salary cap for 2018 is $178 million. There's another $58 Million in unspent money from previous years ("carryover dollars"). That's where the $108 Million in salary cap comes from, but it's very unlikely the Browns will permit the carryover money to be spent until such time as they have a realistic shot at the playoffs, so let's forget about that. Also, let's not forget that the 2018 draft class will want to get paid, and based on current draft position, that may run $18 Million for 13 players, or in other words about $12 Million above the league minimum for those roster spots. This number also comes from overthecap.com.
My guess is the Browns let will their carryover dollars ride and spend up to the current limit or $178 Million total expenditures (including $6 Million to players not with the team). Also, the Browns have two free agents in Isaiah Crowell and backup Marcus Martin. So let's allow $5 Million to either re-sign Crowell or come up with a replacement. So, compared to last year, the difference in player salaries is $178-$12-$128- $5 = $33 million dollars, give or take above 2017. Conclusion: That's a lot of money, enough for three or four significant starters. So $108 Million is the absolute limit if they sign no draftees, give zero pay raises and blow all their saved-up carryover money in one year (totally unrealistic) whereas $33 million is where I put the over-under for what they will actually add. That's still a lot of money, enough to add two or three very significant players. This is not going to be like previous years in which they had tons of cap space to raise fans expectations, but in which they deliberately underspent the cap and also let star players leave without being replaced. No, in 2018 they really are going to add signficant players. I promise.
In addition there are currently five draft picks in Round 1 and 2 and a total of 13. These high picks should usually start or at least contribute significantly. So, when all is said and done, they have one guy who might leave in Free Agency (Crowell) but they can replace him with about 8 very good players. It sounds crazy, but I believe they will have enough firepower to contend next year if they get their act together.