Browns defensive end Desmond Bryant has agreed to take a pay cut for the 2016 season, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Bryant, who will miss the 2016 season with a torn pectoral muscle, will now earn $1.25MM instead of the $6MM he was slated to make.
The Browns and Bryant have been negotiating his salary for more than a month. Since Bryant suffered his injury away from the Browns’ facility, the Browns were not obligated to pay him any of his would-be $6MM base salary since they placed him on the non-football injury list. However, Bryant was working out to stay in shape on his own time, which is expected of players in the offseason. If the Browns refused to pay him anything, there likely would have been in a messy battle with the NFLPA with far reaching implications for the whole league.
Bryant, 30, had been expected to start at defensive end. He is signed through the 2017 season, but the Browns can easily get out of his contract once he gets healthy. Bryant is due a $7MM base salary in 2017, and will only have $1MM remaining in signing bonus proration. Therefore, if Cleveland doesn’t think Bryant is going to be worth his salary next season, it can release Bryant and save $6MM against the salary cap.
Last season, Bryant appeared in 14 games and racked up 6.0 sacks with 33 total tackles.
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