The Oakland Raiders yearned to re-sign defensive tackle Desmond Bryant but could not match the salary cap flexibility of the Cleveland Browns. A report by Sports Illustrated’s Peter King states that Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was forced to keep his team out of “salary cap jail,” and had no choice but to let the Browns take the mauling defensive lineman.
Bryant inked a five-year, $34 million deal with the Browns earlier this off-season, adding considerable quality to what was largely considered a strength of the team in the defensive line. Bryant, 27, also drew interest from the San Francisco 49ers before being scooped up by Cleveland on the first day of free agency.
Last season, Bryant recorded 36 tackles, four sacks, and one forced fumble. He was also tied for 7th among defensive tackles with 12 quarterback hits. He is expected to join Phil Taylor and Atyba Rubin on the starting line within Ray Horton’s 3-4 defense.
[Related: Breaking down Paul Kruger’s and Desmond Bryant’s Browns contracts]