The Cleveland Browns’ fourth preseason game is tonight, and while there are still some back-end position battles to be fought, the front office should have a pretty good idea on what their initial 53-man roster will be (we should have our final projection out either after the game, or first thing Friday morning).
The deadline to get to 53 players is Saturday, September 2 by 4:00 PM ET. The Browns have the most advantageous position in the NFL because they will get first choice of all players who are subject to the waiver wire. That means if we see five stunning cuts on Saturday that has the entire league talking, Cleveland could claim all five of them without worrying about anyone else jumping in.
By Saturday, 32 NFL teams will release roughly 37 players per team - 1,184 lost jobs. Up to 320 back to practice squad. But no more for 864.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2017
Because of that, you can be assured that the team’s 53-man roster on Saturday will look quite different than the 53-man roster on Sunday. I would not be surprised to see up to six new faces in Cleveland when it’s all said and done. The Browns will be seeking depth at wide receiver, offensive tackle, linebacker, and safety, and any other positions are just gravy.
When asked about having the top waiver priority, head coach Hue Jackson was pretty laid back about it, but there is no doubt that Executive VP of Football Operations Sashi Brown will be scanning the waiver wire intensely.
“As you know, we are going to do everything we can to get better, whatever that takes. It is good to be in that position because if there is someone who can help our football team, then I’m sure we will do that.”
It’s too early to speculate about specific waiver claims right now, but once cuts are unveiled, we’ll speculate-to-death on who Cleveland should try to pick up.