The Browns had 15 offensive linemen in training camp last year. This year, there are 17 offensive linemen in camp. With an abundance of players, there is a higher probability that a youngster could unseat a veteran player for a backup role if they perform well in training camp. Today, we'll take a look at a couple of the players who might have more experience than other players, but could find themselves on the chopping block for various reasons.
7. ONIEL COUSINS - BACKUP OFFENSIVE TACKLE
Entering his third season with the Browns, Oniel Cousins doesn't have many supporters in Cleveland after performing poorly at right tackle in 2011 when he started for a couple of games. Last year, Cousins only saw a few snaps with the first-team offense, and every time he entered the game, it was as a sixth offensive lineman in a goal-line type of package.
Although John Greco does have some experience at tackle, for the past couple of seasons, Oniel Cousins has been mostly counted on as the Browns' backup offensive tackle. He is entering the final year of a two-year contract, and he is making about the league minimum. This offseason, the Browns opted to sign another veteran offensive tackle, Rashad Butler. I only see the Browns keeping one backup offensive tackle with veteran status, so we could see a mini-competition between Cousins and Butler this year.
Final Roster Odds: 60%
8. RASHAD BUTLER - BACKUP OFFENSIVE TACKLE
The career of veteran offensive tackle Rashad Butler has had an interesting trajectory. In 2006, he was picked by the Carolina Panthers in the third round of the NFL Draft. He never played a down for the Panthers and was released before the start of the following season.
Butler has been a member of the Houston Texans for the past six years. He only started four games during that stretch, which came during the 2010 season. Last year, he was competing for a starting role at right tackle, but lost the competition.
Butler has had a lot of misfortunes injury-wise over the past two years, tearing his triceps twice, which has forced him to miss 30 of his past 32 games. The Browns signed Butler at the beginning of May, when they were already stockpiled with offensive linemen. The timing of that move adds more fuel to the fire that he'll get a shot to be the primary backup offensive tackle instead of Cousins. If his injuries can be avoided, he might just make it.
Final Roster Odds: 40%
9. RYAN MILLER - BACKUP OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
It is very difficult to project what is going to happen to Ryan Miller this season. He was a fifth-round pick by the Browns last year, but due to how solid the offensive line is, he didn't sniff the starting lineup...that is, until Week 17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he entered the game for 11 snaps and looked awful. I think we can forgive him given the circumstance and limited sample size, right?
Miller was tried out at both guard and tackle last year. On one hand, you can look at him as having the versatility to be considered for both positions. On the other hand, it could be a disservice if he ends up not really excelling at one position or the other. With the new front office drafting Garrett Gilkey this year, they could decide to just keep Gilkey and part ways with Miller. Miller would actually have the ability to go on the practice squad, which is compelling.
Final Roster Odds: 60%
Practice Squad Odds: 75%
There are eight offensive linemen left to preview; is there something wrong with the fact that Cleveland would have two members of a fourth-team offensive line? A bit much, don't you think?
Since all three of the men in today's poll are uncertain to make the roster, today's poll asks which individual you feel is most likely going to make the final roster.