Cleveland Browns: 5 Veteran Players Who Won't Survive Roster Cuts
Training camp is in full swing for the Cleveland Browns in Berea, Ohio, and so begins the process of determining the best 53-player roster for Rob Chudzinski and his staff in his first year as head coach.
The team will look to build around last year's rookie duo of quarterback Brandon Weeden and running back Trent Richardson and an improved defense led by cornerback Joe Haden and free-agent linebacker Paul Kruger.
Several roster spots will be determined over the course of the next several weeks as the Browns look to climb out of the cellar in the AFC North division. With a roster full of young players, competition will be fierce.
Chudzinski will bring a new philosophy to the team as he looks to install his own brand of football and bring a winning attitude to a team that has gone 23-57 since 2008.
Chudzinski may be willing to give some of the younger players on the roster a chance as he rebuilds the team. Because of that, some veteran players will be looking for employment elsewhere by the end of the summer.
Jordan Norwood, Wide Receiver
After coming into the league as an undrafted free agent, Jordan Norwood has had two stints with the Browns (one spent on the practice squad), catching 36 passes the past two seasons in Cleveland. But he will need to have a breakout camp to remain on the 2013 roster.
The Browns just have too much competition at the wide receiver position.
With Josh Gordon suspended for the first two games of the season due to a violation of the league's substance abuse policy, Norwood could hang around until Gordon gets back—but no further.
With Gordon, Greg Little and the additions of Davone Bess and free agent David Nelson, Norwood's time in Cleveland will be up.
Shayne Graham, Kicker
Phil Dawson, the Browns' second-leading scorer in franchise history, signed with the San Francisco 49ers during the offseason.
The team now has two kickers on the roster attempting to replace him.
Brandon Bogotay actually kicked very little at the University of Georgia, as he was the backup to Blair Walsh, the current kicker for the Minnesota Vikings.
Bogotay did handle some kickoff duties and has a much stronger leg than the 35-year-old Graham. If Bogotay can show some consistency in camp, Graham will be sent packing.
Kellen Davis, Tight End
The Browns signed Kellen Davis in March after he spent five years with the Chicago Bears. He was a fifth-round draft choice of the Bears in 2008.
Though he is one of the bigger tight ends in the league at 6'7", Davis doesn't have the best set of hands. He has just 47 catches over the course of his career.
Jordan Cameron will be the starting tight end and Gary Barnidge, who is familiar with Rob Chudzinski from his days with the Carolina Panthers, is a better blocker. Travis Tannahill is also on the roster, and if he has a solid camp, Davis could have a short-lived career in Cleveland.
Brandon Jackson, Running Back
Brandon Jackson ran for 1,329 yards and seven touchdowns as a member of the Green Bay Packers. He was a very explosive player for them when they rotated him into games.
In two seasons for the Browns, Jackson has done almost nothing. Though the competition to be the backup to Trent Richardson is wide open, Jackson may be the odd man out.
Jackson will battle Montario Hardesty, Dion Lewis, Chris Ogbonnaya and Miguel Maysonet for what will probably be three spots at the running back position behind Richardson.
Jackson will have to play more like he did in Green Bay than he has in Cleveland if he wants to secure one of them.
Owen Marecic, Fullback
It remains to be seen how Rob Chudzinski will utilize the fullback in the offense he installs in Cleveland, but odds are Marecic will have to be a little more versatile than he has been.
Marecic was a fourth-round draft pick in 2011 but didn't carry the ball or catch a pass in 2012. In Carolina, Chudzinski had Mike Tolbert on the roster. He carried the ball 54 times while also catching 27 passes.
Marecic will likely be asked to do a little more in the new offense if he wants to stick around. However, it will probably be a good idea to keep a strong lead blocker, especially if the team is going to give Trent Richardson 300 carries this season, as offensive coordinator Norv Turner suggested (Pro Football Talk).
If Brad Smelley can handle the blocking duties, Marecic will almost certainly be cut loose.