The Cleveland Browns announced their final roster cuts today, getting down to the NFL mandated limit of 53 players. Nothing earth shattering but there were a few moves that may leave the Browns short-handed for a few weeks.
Jack-of-all-trades offensive lineman Lennie Friedman was placed on Injured Reserve, ending his season before it began. Freidman hurt his shoulder in the final pre-season game against Chicago, but the injury was thought to be minor. Ryan Tucker was activated from the PUP List, but still will not be ready for game action for a few weeks.
With starting RG Rex Hadnot out for at least a week with a strained knee, this puts last year’s opening game starter, Seth McKinney, in the that very spot to start the year. What is concerning is that it only leaves two healthy back-ups, third year man Isaac Sowells and undrafted rookie Nathan Bennett.
The other big news was the Browns cutting ties with two under performing, past draft choices, Travis Wilson and David McMillan. Wilson was done in by a stellar pre-season by fellow receiver Syndric Steptoe, the promise of 2008 draft pick Paul Hubbard and a failure to produce consistently in pre-season when he had the chance.
The 2006 third round draft choice produced only two receptions in his two years with the Browns and was inactive for all 16 games last season. Every Ken Dorsey got to suit up in 2007. When Ken Dorsey gets to wear pads on Sunday and you do not, it is not a good sign.
McMillian was a 2005 fifth round draft selection and tallied one tackle on defense in three years with the club. Always a pre-season standout, McMillan could never make it translate to success on Sundays and fell prey to rookie Alex Hall’s exceptional camp this summer.
Veteran LB Shantee Orr was also released, a minor surprise as he looked pretty good in pre-season and was supposed to be the special teams replacement for the departed Chaun Thompson, who signed with the Houston Texans in the off-season.
This could mean that rookie Beau Bell may be recovering from his arthroscopic knee surgery better than expected but it leaves the Browns a few men short for the time being.
The Browns also kept rookie TE Martin Rucker on the active roster, giving them four tight ends with Kellen Winslow, Steve Heiden and Darnell Dinkins and two fullbacks, Lawrence Vickers and Charles Ali.
This is a rare roster combination indeed as the odds all six will be active on any given Sunday are rare. With Dinkins being the only truly healthy tight end, I can see why they did it but it leaves them thin in other spots.
In other cut down news, Louis Leonard and Ahtyba Rubin beat out Chase Pittman and Melila Purcell for the final two defensive line spots. Gerard Lawson claimed the final defensive back spot by showing some promise as a return man and special teams player. He beat out A. J. Davis, Travis Key, Brandon Mitchell, and Jereme Perry.
In honor of my yearly Browns Cut List, the following players are no longer with us:
TE Brad Cieslak… CUT!
CB A.J. Davis… CUT! (Giving up 15 TD passes in pre-season is not good!)
OL Lennie Friedman… IR
WR Efrem Hill… CUT!
TE Kolomona Kapanui… CUT!
DB Travis Key… CUT! (Thanks for having a great game versus Da Bears, now turn in the playbook.)
OT James Lee… CUT!
WR Lance Leggett… CUT!
LB David McMillan… CUT! (I’m just gonna shake my head.)
DB Brandon Mitchell… CUT!
LB Shantee Orr… CUT!
LB Chase Ortiz… CUT!
OL Jonathan Palmer… CUT!
DB Jereme Perry… (You wore four different numbers when you were with the team, the writing was on the wall.)
DE Melila Purcell… CUT!
K Jason Reda… CUT! (You do not F with Phil Dawson!)
WR Steve Sanders… CUT! (I hope you make the Practice Squad.)
WR Travis Wilson… CUT! (Tell Kevin Johnson, Quincy Morgan, Andre Davis and Dennis Northcutt I say hello, assclown.)
OL Derrick Morse, OL Marvin Philip, DE Chase Pittman, and RB Travis Thomas were waived and given injury settlements.
It is worth noting that the Browns will sign eight of these guys to the Practice Squad and that they have an opportunity to be signed to another team’s active roster before accepting a spot on the Practice Squad.
The Browns final 53 man roster can be found at ClevelandBrowns.com.