BEREA - Give most people approximately $20 million, and not much of it will stay in a bank.
Unless those people work in the front office of the Browns, who are expected to be that far below the NFL salary cap when the free-agency signing period begins Tuesday. The Browns didn't go wild in spending on free agents last year, and don't expect a big change this year.
At least that's the way general manager Tom Heckert portrayed the team's thought process when he spoke to reporters for 30 minutes Thursday in his first public appearance since undergoing heart surgery in late January.
"You know how I feel about free agency," Heckert said. "I think that's kind of an organizational deal. We're not going to go crazy in free agency. We're not going to do it.
"Are there guys we're targeting? Certainly. Are we going to get them? That remains to be seen. Green Bay signed one free agent when they won (the Super Bowl) two years ago. I don't think the Giants signed anybody you ever heard of. You don't win football games by signing a bunch of free agents. If there are guys we think can help us, we'll do it."
How the Browns and the other 31 teams in the NFL approach free agency will play a role in each team's draft plans. Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn will sign with new teams, which will take those teams out of talks to trade up with the St. Louis Rams to get the second overall pick and the chance to draft Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
The Browns, who have the fourth and 22nd overall picks, are at the center of all the RG3 talk, along with the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins. The Redskins select sixth and the Dolphins will pick eighth.
No one with the Browns has publicly stated a desire to move up and draft Griffin, but they are expected to make an offer to the Rams. A recent report stated that they aren't willing to give up the 22nd pick, but Heckert didn't rule out that possibility.
"I would never say never about anything," Heckert said. "We talked to St. Louis two years ago about the first pick, and we were willing to give up a lot."
Griffin has been the biggest pre-draft story by far. The consensus opinion is that his blend of speed and throwing ability make him an elite prospect that comes along only once in awhile.
If that's the case, why wouldn't the Browns be willing to give up a lot to move up in the selection process? The quarterback situation has been a drag on the organization since Tim Couch was selected first overall in 1999, and while Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur have professed beliefs that Colt McCoy can play in this league, the organization in fact doesn't believe it can win consistently with him.
"I don't know if it's an once-in-a-lifetime (opportunity)," Heckert said. "Look at (Carolina Panthers quarterback) Cam (Newton). He's 6-6 and 250. That might be once-in-a-lifetime with Cam last year. Talk about a guy that runs with the football and is tough and is a giant. This guy (Griffin) is super fast but obviously not near the size of Cam Newton.
"The last two drafts have been pretty impressive. Throw in (Stanford's Andrew) Luck. He ran 4.56. He's a phenom athlete for a guy his size."
Heckert said there are four quarterbacks available in the draft that have a chance to be successful at the next level. In addition to Luck and Griffin, the other two are believed to be Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill and 28-year-old Oklahoma State prospect Brandon Weeden.
The Browns will have scouts at Weeden's pro day today.
"We really like him," Heckert said. "That's the million-dollar question. He's 28-years-old, but if he can play six years I might not be here. Who cares? If he can play, he can play.
"He's mature, and he's telling you it's a positive. He's been through a lot. He played baseball. He's won a ton of games and thrown for a ton of yards at Oklahoma State. He's an interesting guy where he's going to go."
NOTHING NEW: Contract talks with running back Peyton Hillis are stalled and it's likely that he will be on the open market. Hillis recently parted company with agent Kennard McGuire and, according to Mike Florio of "profootballtalk.com," will re-sign with Jimmy Sexton.
The Browns would like to bring back Hillis, but not at his asking price.
NO WORD: Heckert hasn't heard from kicker Phil Dawson since the Browns designated him as their franchise player for a second straight year. Dawson moved his family to Texas on a permanent basis last year, and it appeared that he was expecting to sign elsewhere.