The following players were cut by the Cleveland Browns on Saturday, trimming their roster from 75 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)
OFFENSIVE PLAYERS CUT
- QB Thad Lewis - His second stint with Cleveland began when QB Johnny Manziel was still in rehab. Once Manziel got out of rehab and showed he had the No. 2 job down pat, Lewis spent most of camp as the No. 4 quarterback. In the past week or so, Lewis jumped to No. 2 due to QB Connor Shaw's thumb surgery and Manziel's sore elbow. Some thought that Lewis might make the roster if Manziel's injury would keep him out for Week 1, but it appears that he'll be good-to-go for the opener. Cleveland will need to find a practice squad quarterback to be the third guy.
- QB Pat Devlin - He was signed as a camp arm over the past week or so, so nobody expected him to make the 53-man roster. There's a slight chance he might be the team's initial practice squad quaterback, but I think they'd rather see if a younger candidate was available.
- RB Shaun Draughn - The performance he had in the final preseason game didn't do him any favors. The Browns will try to add a veteran running back elsewhere before the start of the season, if they can.
- RB Timothy Flanders - Out of all the undrafted free agent running backs who have come through Cleveland over the years, I don't know if one has ever made less of an impact during camp or the preseason games than Flanders did.
- WR Josh Lenz - Lenz first became a "name" at the brown and orange scrimmage in Columbus. During the preseason, he had a strong final two games, was being utilized as an outside player on special teams, and even saw some work at safety. Lenz didn't make the roster because he probably would not have had a role on gameday.
- WR Vince Mayle - It's a shocker any time a fourth-round pick gets cut. I called this in my final projection, but I didn't think the team would actually go through with it. The potential of Terrelle Pryor wins out over Mayle, who was coming off of a thumb injury.
- WR Darius Jennings - He had a solid camp besides the fumble in the final preseason game, and showed some good things as a kick returner. He might be practice-squad bound, but WR Travis Benjamin held firm with his roster spot during camp to prevent Jennings from leaping him on the depth chart.
- OL Andrew McDonald - We didn't know who the Browns' seventh offensive lineman would be, but my guess was McDonald. In an interesting twist, McDonald's agent tweeted that this is a "temporary move" and that the team would be signing him to the practice squad on Sunday before adding him back to the 53-man roster later in the week.
- OL Eric Olsen - No comment necessary on the other five linemen below.
- OL Darrian Miller
- OL Vinston Painter
- OL Karim Barton
- OL Erle Ladson
DEFENSIVE PLAYERS CUT
- DL Jacobbi McDaniel - McDaniel had a good camp in 2014, and during the season, bounced on-and-off the practice squad and played in one regular season game. This offseason, he was buried at the bottom of the depth chart and faced too much of an uphill battle to make the final roster.
- DL Dylan Wynn - Wynn was one of the more impressive players in camp and a player who Cleveland will likely try to get on the practice squad. He played somewhat of an outside linebacker role during the final preseason game and also lined up at fullback a few times during camp.
- ILB Hayes Pullard - A seventh-round pick, I fully expect Cleveland to get him on the practice squad. For now, veteran ILB Tank Carder maintained his roster spot over the rookie.
- OLB Mike Reilly - Despite the Browns being thin at outside linebacker throughout camp, Reilly never stood out as an impact player.
- CB Robert Nelson - He was with the Browns the entire 2014 season, playing on special teams in seven games. He was hoping to see more of a role on defense in 2015, but a hamstring injury kept him out all of camp and the preseason.
- CB Joe Rankin - Although he wasn't with the club for all of training camp, Rankin didn't play too bad and tried to take advantage of the extra playing time he received this preseason due to all of the other injuries at the position.
- CB Kendall James - James had a pretty strong preseason and would figure to be a good candidate for the practice squad.
- S Landon Feichter - The Browns' coaching staff praised Feichter a couple of times during camp, but Cleveland was pretty well set with their top four safeties.
- S De'Ante Saunders - See above.
FINAL 53-MAN ROSTER (as of 9/5/15)
|Pos||Final Roster||Players Cut|
Injured Reserve: QB Connor Shaw, OL Michael Bowie
Non-Football Injury List: RB Glenn Winston, TE Randall Telfer, CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
Suspension List: WR
GENERAL NOTES ON THE FINAL ROSTER
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: No changes expected.
RB: The Browns could still try to move RB Terrance West, but it doesn't sound like they want to out-right cut him. They are reportedly looking for a veteran running back to bring in, and they might need another body at the position if RB Duke Johnson (concussion) can't play in Week 1.
WR: For now, the experiment with WR Terrelle Pryor has extended into the regular season. WR Marlon Moore made it for special teams purposes.
TE: The Browns ended up keeping FB Malcolm Johnson, TE E.J. Bibbs, and TE Rob Housler, meaning their are five fullback/tight end players on the team. Not many people projected that, especially with Housler.
OL: The Browns won't stay with six offensive linemen. Even though OL Andrew McDonald thinks he'll be back on the 53-man roster, he shouldn't be so sure if the Browns survey the waiver wire and find someone else.
DL: Cleveland is sticking with eight players for now, which is pretty high for a 3-4 team. DL Billy Winn still has a job, but if the Browns need to trim a position for that seventh lineman, they could look on the defensive line.
LB: No changes expected.
S: No changes expected.
CB: Cleveland kept seven cornerbacks, as both CB Johnson Bademosi and CB Charles Gaines can contribute on special teams. Once some of the other players at the position are healthy, though, the position might get trimmed down to six cornerbacks.
ST: Although I don't expect any changes, K Travis Coons could still be waived if the Browns find a veteran kicker around the league who they prefer.
Also, I got 51/53 (96.2%) of my final roster projections correct, which might be the best projection I've ever had. The only picks I got wrong were WR Josh Lenz and OL Andrew McDonald being cut (FB Malcolm Johnson and WR Marlon Moore made the team). I was perfect on the defensive side of the ball, though!
PRACTICE SQUAD PROJECTIONS
After 1:00 PM ET on Sunday, clubs may establish a practice squad. My projections for the Browns' 10-man squad are: WR Vince Mayle, WR Darius Jennings, OL Andrew McDonald, OL Vinston Painter, OL Darrian Miller, DL Dylan Wynn, ILB Hayes Pullard, S Landon Feichter, CB Kendall James, and a quarterback.