The Cleveland Browns waived CB Trevin Wade Wednesday afternoon, also reaching an injury settlement with the second-year cornerback in the process. Wade played in the first two preseason games and saw some first-team reps while CB Chris Owens was out, but missed the third preseason game and the past several practices with a shoulder injury.
A seventh-round draft pick in 2012, I was a fan of Wade's aggressive coverage, but this is far from a shocking development at the cornerback position. At best, Wade would have entered the season as a fifth cornerback, with Joe Haden, Buster Skrine, Chris Owens, and Leon McFadden ahead of him. Removing Wade from the equation does seem to open the door for one or two undrafted free agent defensive backs to make the roster; I'm referring to the likes of S Josh Aubrey, CB Akeem Auguste, and CB Abdul Kanneh.
Wade left this parting message on Twitter:
Going to miss my GREAT teammates and great fans. Got to get back healthy! Best of luck to them boys!— Trevin Wade (@TwoStarWade) August 28, 2013
Now then, who is Eric Martin, the player Cleveland claimed off waivers to replace Wade? Martin is a 6-2, 250-pound outside linebacker from Nebraska who went undrafted this year but signed on with the New Orleans Saints. Martin was part of the Saints' first batch of roster cuts after playing in the team's first three preseason games. In those three games, Martin only had one tackle, which came on special teams.
Over at Canal Street Chronicles, our Saints affiliate, they were a bit surprised to see Martin waived. They had projected him to make their 53-man roster after a strong start to training camp:
There aren't really any surprises here [in terms of the Saints' first batch of roster cuts], with the possible exception of linebacker Eric Martin. He was getting a lot of praise early in training camp, even taking reps with the first team. But he seems to have fallen off significantly in preseason.
Here was their initial scouting report on Martin from back in mid-July:
There is a lot to like about Martin's physical upside. The thought of a 250 pound linebacker with true 4.5 speed sounds wonderful to me. He only started one season as a senior, where he had a first team all Big 10 season at the defensive end position. He doesn't have the experience of most of the guys that he is competing against, so it will be interesting to see if he even makes it through the first cuts.
Martin won't have a lot of time to prove himself to the Browns' coaching staff, who will have their final preseason game Thursday against the Bears. Part of the reason you may pick up a guy like this is to warm him up to your organization early if you want him on your practice squad. Cleveland could still release him, but if both the Saints and Browns offer him a practice squad spot, maybe Martin chooses Cleveland.