The following players were cut by the Cleveland Browns, trimming their roster from 75 to the league required 53 players. Make sure you react to all of the cuts in the comments section below! The final 53-man roster is also at the bottom of this post.
(Key: Expected Cut, Highlighted/Notable Cut, Shocker Cut)
OFFENSIVE PLAYERS CUT
- QB Seneca Wallace - Unless something else happens, Colt McCoy won the backup quarterback role behind Brandon Weeden. Wallace would have only played in a worst-case scenario, and he would've been the highest paid third-string quarterback in the league. This allows them to keep Thaddeus Lewis, a developmental quarterback who Pat Shurmur has liked for several years.
- RB Adonis Thomas - He had a nice camp, but it also says something that the team kept the injured Chris Ogbonnaya. He was not too flashy but showed progress over the weeks, and could be a practice squad candidate.
- FB Brad Smelley - I have been expecting Smelley to be cut because of how many reps Owen Marecic was getting with the first-team offense. He is another practice squad candidate; we'll see if he lasts. It's interesting that after all of the tight end/fullback talk, only four players were kept.
- WR Josh Cooper - For all of the buzz that Cooper received before the start of training camp, he ended up being a non-factor in contending for a spot on the 53-man roster. Reports indicate that the team is trying to place him on the practice squad, which isn't a surprise.
- WR Rod Windsor - Here is what I said about Windsor when the Browns cut him in 2011: "He was quietly consistent throughout the duration of camp and could be worth a second look." That same sentiment still sticks. I think he is worthy of a spot on the practice squad based on the camp he had, but will they stash two receivers on there?
- TE Evan Moore - The only reason this was not a shocker was because he was listed as the fourth tight end at the start of camp, and a lot of people speculated that his roster spot was in danger. I am sorry to see Moore go. Like the Jerome Harrison's of the world, I was always fascinated with Moore's potential as a receiver. On the plus side, this shows a greater commitment to Jordan Cameron, and if he becomes anything close to a top-tier tight end, no one will think twice about Moore's release.
- TE Dan Gronkowski - This was a tough one to figure out. He seemed to catch the ball and run routes very well in camp and during the preseason games, and he had some blocking skills. You never got the impression that he would make the team, though, since he was the fifth tight end. As he said on Twitter, Cleveland is now "Gronkless."
- OG Jarrod Shaw - He spent all of last year on the team's practice squad. I was not very impressed with him during the preseason, so this isn't a surprise.
- OG Stanley Daniels - I thought he was the best offensive linemen out of the guys who got cut, but it's not a surprise to see him here.
- OG Jeff Shugarts - The former Ohio State product did not play very much.
- OT Dominic Alford - Alford was on the practice squad last year and could find himself there again if the Browns like what he offered.
- C Garth Gerhart - Gerhart is another guy who received limited reps in camp but showed a mean streak in the final preseason game.
DEFENSIVE PLAYERS CUT
- DT Brian Schaefering - I wavered on Schaefering during my roster projections, but concluded that he would make the team. He played for the Browns (in various capacities) since 2008, and was part of the infamous tandem who took down Roethlisberger last year. He showed some nice pass rush during the preseason, but it looks like Scott Paxson was preferred over Schaefering despite being injured for a few weeks.
- DT Ronnie Cameron - We'll see if Cameron clears waivers. A bunch of teams put in waiver claims for him when the Bears released him a few weeks ago. He had some flashes, but wasn't with the club long enough to put him on the final roster.
- DE William Green - Green saw the most action against the Bears Thursday night. Because the team placed Marcus Benard and Auston English on injured reserve, there is an outside chance he makes the practice squad.
- DT Kiante Tripp - He may best be known for getting into trouble during the offseason.
- DE Ernest Owusu - He was just a temporary claim off waivers after Benard and English went on IR.
- LB Benjamin Jacobs - Tough break for Jacobs, who started camp as the primary backup behind D'Qwell Jackson but was beat out by undrafted free agent L.J. Fort. I don't think we'll miss him a whole lot.
- LB Quinton Spears - After being on the team for all 16 games last year, the Browns are looking elsewhere for special teams help.
- S David Sims (TRADED) - This was a "shocker" only in the sense that out of all the undrafted free agent type of players, he made the biggest splash in camp and was even praised heavily by the coaching staff. I thought he was a lock to make it, especially since Usama Young missed all of camp and Ray Ventrone...really isn't a safety. We later learned that Sims was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a conditional draft pick. I'm not devastated to lose him, but it would've been nice to see him make it considering our apparent lack of depth at safety.
- CB James Dockery - Dockery was another tough cut. He was the darling of camp last year and made the club as an undrafted free agent. Unfortunately for him, seventh-round pick Trevin Wade lit the world on fire in camp, and Dockery started getting a reputation for having too many pass interference calls.
As expected, LB Scott Fujita goes on the suspension/reserve list.
FORMER BROWNS PLAYERS WAIVED AROUND THE NFL
- OG/C Steve Vallos (Eagles)
- WR Demetrius Williams (Jaguars)
- DE Clifton Geathers (Cowboys)
- LB Leon Williams (Chiefs)
- S Larry Asante (Buccaneers)
- P Spencer Lanning (Jets)
FINAL 53-MAN ROSTER (on 8/31/12)
SURPRISE ROSTER ADDITIONS
I ended up being correct with 48 of my 53 roster projections (see my final roster projection here to compare), which is not as good as last year when I was correct on 50 of the 53 spots. The ones that I missed who ended up making the final roster were QB Thaddeus Lewis, DL Brian Sanford, CB Johnson Bademosi, S Usama Young, and S Tashaun Gipson.
The surprises include Sanford, Bademosi, and Gipson. You might be able to throw RB Chris Ogbonnaya in there too, but I picked him to make it. Bademosi and Gipson stood out on special teams, while Sanford has several years of experience with the team. I don't know why I overlooked that fact with Sanford throughout all of camp.
Some of these guys will probably get waived tomorrow, though, as many teams will claim players off waivers from other teams.
PRACTICE SQUAD PROJECTIONS
My original practice squad projection included the following eight players: RB Adonis Thomas, FB Brad Smelley, WR Josh Cooper, WR Rod Windsor, OL Dominic Alford, DE William Green, DT Ronnie Cameron, S Tashaun Gipson.
The only guy there who made the roster is Gipson. Therefore, I am going to make an amendment and put LB Benjamin Jacobs there instead. We'll see how close I come to being right!