Cleveland Browns 2012: Some Surprise Moves Help Set 53-Man Roster

David DeWitt@TheRevDeWittContributor IIISeptember 1, 2012

Cleveland Browns 2012: Some Surprise Moves Help Set 53-Man Roster

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    The Cleveland Browns announced 22 roster moves shortly after midnight Saturday, revealing for the first time the look of their Week 1 53-man roster.

    The list contains several surprises and some unexpected transactions. (

    For instance, the Browns traded training camp standout David Sims to the Philadelphia Eagles and terminated the contract of project TE Evan Moore.

    They had just signed Moore to a three-year, multi-million dollar contract before last season. But he struggled with blocking and durability issues.

    They also released veteran backup QB Seneca Wallace in favor of keeping 2010 third-round selection Colt McCoy and Thad Lewis, a quarterbacking project.

    First, a look at the 22 moves they made:


    On Sept. 1, the Browns were awarded Buffalo LB Tank Carder off waivers. They also waived DE Brian Sanford and DT Scott Paxson. They also picked up DL Ishmaa’ily Kitchen off waivers from Baltimore.

    The rosters in the rest of the article will reflect these moves.

The 22 Roster Moves

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    The Browns waived 18 players. These included:

    Dominic Alford, OL

    Ronnie Cameron, DL

    Josh Cooper, WR

    Stanley Daniels, OL

    James Dockery, DB

    Garth Gerhart, OL

    William Green, DL

    Dan Gronkowski, TE

    Benjamin Jacobs, LB

    Ernest Owusu, DL

    Brian Schaefering, DL

    Jarrod Shaw, OL

    Jeff Shugarts, OL

    Brad Smelley, FB

    Quinton Spears, LB

    Adonis Thomas, RB

    Kiante Tripp, DL

    Rod Windsor, WR

    They also terminated the contracts of QB Seneca Wallace and TE Evan Moore.

    Under "Reserve/Suspended by the Commissioner" is LB Scott Fujita, so they are not counting on Fujita to play Week 1.

    Next, we'll take a look at what the starting offensive depth chart should look like after these moves.

The 2012 Cleveland Browns Week 1 Offense as It Stands Now

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    Here is what the Week 1 depth chart should look like after this round of cuts.

    Of course, it should be noted the Browns could make any number of additional moves before the start of the season once players cut by other teams hit the waiver wires:

    WR1: Greg Little, Josh Gordon, Joshua Cribbs

    LT: Joe Thomas, Oneil Cousins

    LG: Jason Pinkston

    C: Alex Mack, John Greco

    RG: Shaun Lauvao

    RT: Mitchell Schwartz, Ryan Miller

    TE: Benjamin Watson, Jordan Cameron, Alex Smith

    WR2: Mohamed Massaquoi, Travis Benjamin, Jordan Norwood

    QB: Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, Thad Lewis

    FB: Owen Marecic

    RB: Trent Richardson, Brandon Jackson, Montario Hardesty, Chris Ogbonnaya

The Projected 2012 Cleveland Browns Week 1 Defense

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    With the same caveat—that there are still nine days before the first Browns game and anything could happen—here is a look at the defensive depth chart for Week 1 as it stands of today:

    LDE: Jabaal Sheard, Juqua Parker

    DT: Ahtyba Rubin, Billy Winn

    DT: John Hughes, Ishmaa’ily Kitchen

    RDE: Frostee Rucker, Emmanuel Stephens

    SLB: James-Michael Johnson, Tank Carder

    MLB: D'Qwell Jackson, L.J. Fort

    WLB: Kaluka Maiava, Craig Robertson

    LCB: Joe Haden, Buster Skrine, Trevin Wade

    RCB: Sheldon Brown, Dimitri Patterson, Johnson Bademosi

    FS: Eric Hagg, Ray Ventrone, Tashaun Gipson

    SS: T.J. Ward, Usama Young


    Special Teams

    P: Reggie Hodges

    K: Phil Dawson

    LS: Christian Yount


    And, finally, a little bit of analysis:

Some Extra Brownies

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    A couple things really stick out when thinking about how these moves impact the current depth chart.



    First of all, it's a bit unsettling to see no backup behind the currently injured James-Michael Johnson at SLB.

    Johnson is the backup to Fujita, who the Browns expect to be suspended.

    This could be taken as an indication that Johnson's oblique injury in the final preseason game against the Chicago Bears may not be very serious.

    Or the Browns could be scouring the waiver wire for another LB, but that would suggest that other cuts are forthcoming. 

    This is of course no longer unsettling or unsettled as the Browns' picked up Carder off of waivers to fill this role.

    Also notable on the defensive side of the ball is the decision to keep six CBs.

    With Dimitri Patterson injured, it makes sense to have that many, and there are a number of Cleveland fans who will be happy to see Johnson Bademosi getting a shot.

    While keeping six CBs, the Browns are still keeping five Ss. What shocked many though was that camp standout David Simis is not one of them.

    Sims was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2013 conditional pick, and the Browns elected to keep Tashaun Gipson, who had two more tackles than Sims this preseason, with 16, but one less pick, with one.



    The differences in numbers stood out in Pat Shurmur's new offensive depth chart.

    In 2011, he kept two QBs, four TEs, one FB and three RBs.

    In 2012, he's keeping three QBs, three TEs, one FB and four RBs.

    This seems like an obvious indication that Shurmur is still carrying memories of 2011's RB depth chart being slowly decimated and having to pick up Ogbonnaya from the Texans' practice squad.

    It is nice, though, seeing Ogbonnaya will still be contributing this year.