The last time we discussed the Browns' roster was on Monday, when they were down to 76 players. The deadline to get down to 75 players was on Tuesday, but Cleveland actually had to make several moves to get to that point since they had claimed a couple of offensive linemen off waivers. Here is a quick summary of the transactions that were made over the past day and a half:
Players Claimed Off Waivers
- OL Karim Barton - 6-3, 313 lbs. - Claimed off waivers from the Eagles, Barton is an undrafted free agent rookie out of Morgan State. He played as a backup in all three preseason games and played right tackle his final year at college. Originally from Jamaica, the Eagles did a nice feature story on him back in June. We should see Cleveland plug him in at a backup guard position during the final preseason game.
- OL Donald Hawkins - 6-4, 310 lbs. - Also claimed off waivers from the Eagles, Hawkins is an undrafted free agent out of Texas. Hawkins was rated as the No. 23 offensive guard coming out of the draft by CBS Sports' Dane Bruglar. You have to like the fact that DBN's Tim Miller called this move back on August 23rd:
#Browns could be interested in signing OL Donald Hawkins who was just cut by PHI. Good feet, could compete w/ our backup OL.— Tim A. Miller (@Bumblyjack) August 23, 2014
Players Placed on Injured Reserve (or NFI)
- OG Michael Bowie - Placed on injured reserve. Bowie is the promising young lineman who the Browns "stole" off waivers from the Seahawks. He presumably had his shoulder surgery and will be in the mix for a role in 2015.
- ILB Darius Eubanks - Placed on injured reserve. Originally a promising candidate to make the 53-man roster, Eubanks was never able to practice as he was also listed as having a shoulder injury. Serious or not, Cleveland can take another look at Eubanks in 2015 if they desire, as he is not a restricted free agent until 2016.
- OL Nick McDonald - Placed on reserve/non-football injury (NFI) list. When the Browns first claimed McDonald off waivers several weeks ago, it was reported that he had a wrist injury that would sideline him for 4-6 weeks. I projected him to make the 53-man roster due to his experience with the Chargers, but if that happens now, it will have to wait until Week 6 due to the NFI designation.
The two additions pushed the Browns' roster to 78 players, but the three injury-related moves got it down to 75 players, so the Browns didn't have to cut any additional players. In terms of other injury news, WR Jonathan Krause and OL Randall Harris were both waived/injured, so both players have reverted to the Browns' injured reserve. We could see injury settlements for them at some point, though.
By Saturday, August 30th, the Browns have to name their 53-man roster.