Desmond Bryant will miss the season due to the torn pectoral muscle he sustained while working out in between the Browns’ minicamp and training camp, but the team and the defensive end’s agent are discussing if he’ll be paid in 2016, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.
Since Bryant injured the muscle in New York and not at the Browns’ facility, the Browns do not have to pay him any of his would-be $6MM base salary for 2016 since they placed him on the non-football injury list. But this negotiation’s outcome could have a wide-ranging impact, Schefter adds, since Bryant was working out to stay in shape on his own time, as players are expected to.
Bryant confirmed, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, agent Drew Rosenhaus is meeting with the Browns about paying him a portion of his salary even though they do not have to do so. The 30-year-old defensive end could also be released, with the eight-year veteran telling Cabot the Browns “have a decision to make.”
A projected starter for a Cleveland team that will now rely on second- and third-round picks Emmanuel Ogbah (who is now working at defensive end and outside linebacker after previously focusing on the latter role) and Carl Nassib on the edge more, Bryant is due a $7MM base salary in 2017 as part of the five-year, $34MM deal he signed in 2013. Bryant led Cleveland with six sacks last season.
The rebuilding Browns would save $7MM by cutting him. If Bryant is not released, Cabot expects the Browns to ask him to take a pay cut in advance of the ’17 season since he’ll be 31 and coming off a severe injury.
The Browns, per Cabot, are “working through it” and attempting to find a resolution. If that ends in Bryant not being paid, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk would advise the Browns’ other players to avoid working out between the end of the ’17 offseason program and training camp, considering the optics of penalizing a player for doing so.
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