Why Kevin Shaffer Was Let Go

Mike GCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2009

No more than 24 hours after Jurevicius was released, the Browns announced that they were also letting go of last year's starting right tackle, Kevin Shaffer.

Based on doing play-by-play analysis of Shaffer this past year, I can say that his productivity has certainly declined since the Browns acquired him four years ago. 

The biggest drop off came not in his pass protection, which was never great (but certainly a significant step up from LJ Shelton who he replaced when he signed), but rather, in his run blocking.

The team looked best this year against the Giants with Tucker, not Shaffer, playing right tackle (Shaffer missed the game due to injury).  This game, combined with Shaffer's 2009 compensation ($1 million bonus and  $2.65 million salary) probably explains the rationale for not keeping him. 

Here are a couple of other factors, that may have been involved:

Ryan Tucker's health: Obviously, if the Browns think he can return to 2007 form (I don't think this is probable) than letting Shaffer go and keeping Tucker makes sense.

Isaac Sowells ability: Nobody, thanks to Crennel not letting him see the field often, has any idea if he can take the next step and become a regular starter.  Maybe Mangini and Kokinis saw something in his limited playing time that they liked.

Depth at RT in the draft: I'd be shocked if the Browns  addressed this vacancy with the No. 5 overall pick, (way too much money to pay a RT), but would be excited if they drafted someone in the second round to fill the void. 

In fact, I was a huge proponent of them drafting a RT before Shaffer was let go.

Re-signing Braylon: Releasing Jurevicius and Shaffer may have freed up some extra cash to restructure Braylon's deal (this is the one potential upside to Edwards' poor performance last year; his contract demands may have decreased).

Paying Anderson his $5 million: Jurevicius was due $2.4 million, Shaffer was due a total of $3.65 million, after paying Anderson, that leaves an extra $1 million for other players.

There is one sour note I think to this, and that is that the Browns weren't able to trade Shaffer for a fourth-round pick.  I realize his $1 million signing bonus may have made this harder to accomplish, but I think he'll get signed very quickly. 


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