Jedrick Wills

Jedrick Wills option picked up for some reason

There is one thing that the current Cleveland Browns regime has not been afraid to do and that is pick up the fifth-year option on eligible players. Like Myles Garrett, David Njoku, Denzel Ward, and Baker Mayfield before him, Jedrick Wills has had his fifth-year option picked up. Wills will be paid just over $14 million in 2024.

The one positive from this is that the Browns front office now has a locked in number for how much is being allocated to the left tackle position for the next two years. Unfortunately that is outweighed by the negatives. The fact of the matter is that Wills is an incredibly average left tackle who does not do anything particularly well. Multiple times per game Wills will end up standing and watching the play after he was beat or he decides his part of the play is done.

Wills is the 22nd-highest paid left tackle in 2023, with a cap hit just over $6.2 million. As things stand currently Wills would be 15th among left tackles next season with his fifth-year option number. The thing is Wills has performed more like the 22nd ranked tackle not the 15th and that is a big problem.

Money will be tight very soon for the Browns

Another thing to consider is that the Browns will be in a crunch financially sooner rather than later and already allocating this type of dollar figure to a player who has not proven to have earned it yet seems foolish. Add in that Wyatt Teller, Joel Bitonio, and Jack Conklin are set to make just under $45 million combined in 2024 and it is clear that they have backed themselves into a corner here. There are outs in the contracts of Teller and Bitonio, but Cleveland would be stuck with a dead cap figure around $15.5 million. Restructures can and likely will happen for the offensive line and others with high salary numbers, but until then these are the numbers to go by.

The harsh reality is that this Browns team is not as close to being a contender this season and most likely the next as well. Taking what limited financial flexibility that they had and using it in this manner seems rather foolish for a front office that has been praised for being smart, tough, and accountable. Three traits that as time goes by it seems like they really do not actually possess and are not any different from most front offices, holding no edge whatsoever in how they go about their business.

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