The Browns will spend $4.3 Million on Johnny Manziel if he does not play. No wonder they call him "Money Manziel."
If as expected the Browns add a first round quarterback this year, and cut Johnny Manziel, they will wind up spending about $15.5 Million on quarterbacks in 2016. That would place them around 20th in the NFL.
Assuming they cut Johnny Manziel in March, his guaranteed money will count against the 2016 salary cap. That comes to $4,333,487. If we would keep him, only half of that money would be charged this year, and we would actually have the player. No matter, we will probably cut him even if he is exonerated by the legal system. So let's just admit that we are paying $4.3 Mil. By the way, if that were his salary he would be ranked 29th in the NFL, pending the resolution of the new free agents and draftees.
Josh McCown is going to cost us $5,041,666, ranking 27th in the NFL as of today. That make him a low-paid starter or one of the top non-starting qbs in the league. If we cut him we still have to pay him $2,333,334.
Josh McCown ranked 15th in the NFL statistically, while drawing the 27th highest salary in the NFL. I'd say he earned his money.
Austin Davis is due for $1,766,666 (37th in the NFL, making him a top second string quarterback), but only $333,334 is guaranteed. I would say Mr. Davis is vulnerable as a third stringer. Most third stringers get close to the NFL minimum.
If we take a guy in the 2nd overall position, he would presumably get a Marcus Mariota level contract, which paid him $4,402,541 in his rookie year.
All told, if you add up the amount we are on the hook for, Manziel, McCown, Davis and a top rookie will cost the Browns $15.5 million. As a comparison, $15.9 Million is the amount that the Patriots spend for Tom Brady $15,000,000 and Jimmy Garoppolo ($950,154). The Bengals will spend
$13,745,413 ($13,100,000 for Andy Dalton and $645,413 for A. J. McCarron). Except instead of a true star player, we will be fielding New Kid, McCown and Davis. Ouch.