The Cleveland Browns made a peculiar roster decision on Tuesday, announcing that they have waived OG Jonathan Cooper. After claiming the former first-round pick off waivers from the Patriots earlier this season, Cooper was a backup until starting right guard John Greco landed on injured reserve earlier this month.
Cooper started the past three games at right guard. During his first week at the position, Pro Football Focus graded him as the top guard in the NFL. Over his past two starts, his positive moments as a run blocker continued, but he had some issues in pass protection.
Cooper was in the final year of his rookie contract, so even if he was on the roster in Week 17, the Browns would’ve had to make an offseason decision on him. One can only assume that, based on their three-week assessment of him, they aren’t interested in re-signing him, so why not let him go now?
A roster move was needed because OG Alvin Bailey is set to return from suspension this week. Whether Bailey steps in at right guard remains to be seen. The club could be looking to move Austin Pasztor to right guard for the finale so they can let rookie Shon Coleman get some work in at right tackle before the offseason.