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Cleveland Browns Roster Cuts: The Final 53-Man Roster

Erik Drost on flickr

UPDATE: On Sunday, the Browns claimed four players on waivers from other NFL teams, which means four players who originally made the 53-man roster have been cut. Information on Sunday's moves can be found here.


The following players were cut by the Cleveland Browns, trimming their roster from 74 players 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, Surprise/Big-Name Cut)


  • QB Connor Shaw - Despite having great stats this preseason (8-of-9 for 123 yards and 1 touchdown) and showing the ability to run the read-option, the Browns went with Rex Grossman as their third quarterback. There still seems to be a great chance that Shaw lands on the practice squad.

  • RB Dion Lewis - Because of how much he was utilized in the preseason and the vote of confidence that Pettine gave Lewis after the third preseason game, this was the most surprising cut of the day for me. Did the big game from Isaiah Crowell really do enough to put Lewis out of a roster spot?

  • RB Chris Ogbonnaya - He can do everything pretty well, but considering how rarely he was utilized in the preseason, I suspected that Ogbonnaya would be out of a roster spot. Honestly, if the Browns weren't planning on using him, they should have done him a good deed and cut him sooner so that he could catch on elsewhere. Maybe they were holding out hope that they could trade him?

  • WR Nate Burleson - This is a moderately surprising cut, only because of how inexperienced the Browns' receiving group is. Cleveland only got to play him in one preseason game because of a nagging hamstring injury, though, and there's a chance they could find someone better on the waiver wire in the next day or so.

  • WR Willie Snead - Earlier this preseason, I compared Snead to Brian Robiskie, someone who seemed reliable in camp but who I feared would disappear in a regular season game. I think the Browns will give him a shot on the practice squad, though.

  • TE MarQueis Gray - Aside from Lewis, this was the second-biggest surprise for me. Gray was utilized a lot during the first three preseason games. He seemed like a weapon, but I really do think the ball security concerns did him in. There were probably four times I recall when Gray either fumbled, had a near fumble, or dropped a ball this preseason.

  • TE Emmanuel Ogbuehi - He will remember that Hail Mary catch for the rest of his life.

  • OG Garrett Gilkey - I really wish I would have taken a chance and put Gilkey on my "cut list" for my 53-man roster projection. He began camp in a competition with John Greco for the starting right guard role, but quickly faded in the competition. He looked bad with the second-stringers, and the only reason I pegged him to make it was because all of the other backups were bad too. He is still practice squad eligible, though.

  • OL Reid Fragel - Fragel had some hype when the Browns got him from the Bengals at the end of last season, but an injury early in camp hurt his chances to shine.

  • OL Donald Hawkins - Just coming over from the Eagles before the fourth preseason game, we hardly got a look at Hawkins.

  • OL Alex Parsons - He fulfilled the role of backup center during the preseason.

  • OL Abasi Salimu - If there is one player fans will go "who?" when they hear his name, it'll probably be Salimu.


  • DL Calvin Barnett - Barnett was somewhat of a big-name undrafted free agent, so we'll see if he's able to land on the practice squad.

  • DT Jacobbi McDaniel - McDaniel was one of the early "stars" of camp, particularly when he had a big outing at the Family Day event in Akron. Again, though, the Browns are just stacked on the defensive line, so he didn't have a shot at cracking the roster.

  • ILB Zac Diles - This shows that for now, the Browns don't really care about their backup inside linebackers after the top three of Karlos Dansby, Chris Kirksey, and Craig Robertson. Cleveland kept Tank Carder instead of Diles, which likely had to do with Chris Tabor wanting him on special teams.

  • OLB Jamaal Westerman - The veteran had experience in the Mike Pettine defense and came on stronger at the end of camp, but it wasn't enough as Cleveland opted to go with Eric Martin instead, which again likely has to do with Chris Tabor because Martin was hurt most of camp.

  • OLB Justin Staples - The local product gets sent packing for the second year in a row. I thought he'd make it over Martin as the Browns' fourth outside linebacker, but maybe he'll crack the practice squad.

  • S Josh Aubrey - Aubrey made the 53-man roster last year as an undrafted free agent and seemed to be having a decent camp. However, when the Browns signed Jim Leonhard, that hurt Aubrey's chances of making the team. The somewhat surprising part here is that Robert Nelson was kept over Aubrey; who would have thought that Cleveland would keep six safeties with Aubrey not being one of them?

  • CB Leon McFadden - And there goes a waste of a third-round pick. Even though Trevin Wade was a seventh-round pick a few years back, I felt the same vibe with Wade and McFadden this preseason. If McFadden goes unclaimed, there is still a slight chance he will go to the Browns' practice squad.

FINAL 53-MAN ROSTER (as of 8/30/14)

Pos Final Roster Players Cut
Brian Hoyer
Johnny Manziel
Rex Grossman
Connor Shaw
Ben Tate
Terrance West
Isaiah Crowell
Dion Lewis
Chris Ogbonnaya
Ray Agnew
Andrew Hawkins
Miles Austin
Travis Benjamin
Taylor Gabriel
Charles Johnson
Nate Burleson
Willie Snead
Jordan Cameron
Jim Dray
Gary Barnidge
Emmanuel Ogbuehi
MarQueis Gray
Joe Thomas
Joel Bitonio
Alex Mack
John Greco
Mitchell Schwartz
Paul McQuistan
Karim Barton
Martin Wallace
Garrett Gilkey
Reid Fragel
Alex Parsons
Abasi Salimu
Donald Hawkins
Desmond Bryant
Phil Taylor
Ahtyba Rubin
Armonty Bryant
Billy Winn
John Hughes
Ish'maaily Kitchen
Calvin Barnett
Jacobbi McDaniel
Jabaal Sheard
Chris Kirksey
Karlos Dansby
Paul Kruger
Barkevious Mingo
Craig Robertson
Tank Carder
Eric Martin
Jamaal Westerman
Justin Staples
Darius Eubanks - on Injured Reserve
Donte Whitner
Tashaun Gipson
Jordan Poyer
Jim Leonhard
Johnson Bademosi
Robert Nelson
Josh Aubrey
Joe Haden
Buster Skrine
Justin Gilbert
Aaron Berry
Pierre Desir
K'Waun Williams
Leon McFadden

Billy Cundiff
Spencer Lanning
Christian Yount

Injured Reserve: OL Michael Bowie, ILB Darius Eubanks, CB Isaiah Trufant
Non-Football Injury List: OL Nick McDonald
Suspension List: WR Josh Gordon, WR Marlon Moore


Here is something to remember about the initial 53-man roster: the Browns are not done yet. They will likely claim a number of players off waivers. Here are some general notes about each position, and if I expect any changes to be made over the next day or so.

  • QB: The Browns seem pretty set here keeping three quarterbacks.

  • RB: This is a very inexperienced group, with two rookies and Ben Tate leading the way. The Browns could pick up another veteran, such as Evan Royster. Fullback is probably set with Agnew.

  • WR: Although I think the top four receivers are set, I could easily see one or two new receivers being brought in, which means I wouldn't count on Charles Johnson's job being secure just yet. I hope Taylor Gabriel remains safe, though.

  • TE: Nothing should change here.

  • OL: I could literally see all three players after the starting five get cut in favor of other players; perhaps a veteran like Eric Winston.

  • DL: Nothing should change here.

  • LB: The Browns are lacking some depth at inside linebacker, but my guess is this position stays the same because both Tank Carder and Eric Martin making the roster seems like a special teams decision.

  • S: Six safeties! With all due respect to Robert Nelson, his stay on the 53-man roster will be short-lived. When the Browns claim a player, Nelson will be one of the first guys waived, but could then go to the practice squad.

  • CB: Similar to the above, K'Waun Williams will probably find himself on the chopping block early. Last year, the Browns kept eight defensive backs on their initial 53-man roster. This year, it's twelve defensive backs.

  • ST: This is a no-brainer: it's not going to change.

Also, I got 44/53 (83.0%) of my final roster projections correct, which is by far the worst projection I've ever had. Darn it! I always like to aim for at least 50/53 (94.3%).


After 12:00 PM EST on Sunday, clubs may establish a practice squad. Here is my projection for the Browns' 10-man practice squad, although we could very well sign players from other clubs' cuts to it: QB Connor Shaw, WR Willie Snead, TE MarQueis Gray, OL Reid Fragel, OL Garrett Gilkey, DL Calvin Barnett, DL Jacobbi McDaniel, OLB Justin Staples, S Josh Aubrey, and CB Leon McFadden.