Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer isn't afraid to play hard ball when it comes to managing the roster. The Browns claimed offensive lineman Michael Bowie off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Here is the reason Bowie was waived/injured by the Seahawks:
Seahawks have waived injured Michael Bowie with shoulder injury Carroll calls significant.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) August 2, 2014
Here is the semi-controversial part, though: the Seahawks waived/injured Bowie because he had a "significant shoulder injury." If Bowie cleared waivers, he would have reverted to the team's injured reserve list. In the preseason, that's the only way to get a player on IR. If Seattle had kept him on their roster all the way to the start of the regular season, they could have placed him on IR without the risk of losing him to waivers.
When the Seahawks made the move, our Seattle affiliate talked about the "unwritten rules" about not claiming injured players:
There's a chance that he could be claimed by another team, of course, but apparently the Seahawks were willing to take that chance (unspoken etiquette says that teams don't claim players waived with major injuries, but that etiquette has been broken of late, namely by Bill Belichick with TE Jake Ballard a few years ago and RB Tyler Gaffney this year).
Now, Bowie belongs to the Browns. Bowie was the Seahawks' 7th-round draft pick in 2013. He played in 9 games as a rookie, starting in 8 of them, at right tackle. Bowie was a candidate to start in 2014, and Pro Football Focus graded him as the "stud" of the Seahawks' offensive line last year:
Stud: With injuries depleting the ranks, it was left to Michael Bowie (+7.1) to lead the team with their highest grade. He may eventually end up at guard (as he was for their recent playoff victory over the Saints) with his run blocking particularly impressive.
Depending on Bowie's shoulder surgery (projected to be out 4-6 months), the Browns are likely to carry him on their roster through the entire preseason and then place him on injured reserve. He could then be eligible for short-term IR designation, or the team could just decide to stash him for 2015.