Just like speaking truth to power and being critical when warranted, it's also important to give credit where credit is due. And Andrew Berry deserves kudos for making many prudent moves during final cuts — which required him to unclench the viking death grip he's seemed to have, clutching his draft picks like a panicked child with a teddy bear during an earthquake.
I've been harsh in my evaluation of this particular aspect of AB's tenure so far, but this year's cutdown to 53 had him throwing it all over me like a plate of undercooked spaghetti. And I'm happy to wear it.
Berry moved on (at least initially) from kicker Cade York, in a move as stunning but pragmatic as a middle schooler doing their homework without being told. York has reportedly been aces in practice, but it hasn't translated to game day — even in preseason.
AB also waived WR Anthony Schwartz, another player who's said to look terrific on the practice field but can't stay on solid footing fundamentally when it matters more. He has the speed of a dragster with wings and the hands of a drunken crocodile.
Somewhat akin to OL Dawson Deaton being waived/injured (discussed here), Schwartz's ailment to qualify for the designation reeks of subversive unlikelihood. Smart if it works, the idea is that other teams are less likely to claim an injured player (especially one without a split contract) just to potentially end up stuck paying a guy to ride injured reserve. Going unclaimed allows the original team (or any other team, really) to sign the player to their practice squad.
Similar to the Deaton and Schwartz waivings is that of DE Isaiah Thomas, though his injury probably isn't funhouse mirrors and tomfoolery. He had arthroscopic knee surgery August 8 but it wasn't expected to be season-ending. The only way his season won't be over now after being waived prior to final cuts is if an injury settlement is reached.
In yet another move as shocking as putting a fork in the toaster while mopping the floor, Berry cut DT Tommy Togiai as well. One more mid-round pick that's panned out as well as gold prospecting in the bath tub, it was a relief to see him not taking up a roster spot that can be used for someone who is more beneficial to the team.
And finally, the trade for RB Pierre Strong Jr. appears to have been the stamp on the letter that sent Demetric Felton Jr. to the waiver wire. Remember when you first had a knock-off Swiss Army knife as a kid? It was so dope that it seemed like it could do everything, but you quickly realized it wasn't particularly great at any one thing: that's Felton — a very talented young man who isn't at the end of his football road yet I'm sure, but the dish he brings to this party doesn't get him a seat on Cleveland's initial 53.
Nick Harris is still at the table though, somewhat bafflingly. With Wypler in the wings to be the future center and — even without having done it in college — already more proficient at guard than we've seen Harris be, why Harris is sticking around like gum on the sidewalk makes one wonder if there's another angle.
Maybe the front office believes he has trade value, but that seems unlikely: he wouldn't make tackle for your JV squad and nothing he's put on tape gives the impression of a starting-caliber center either. Hopefully there's a method to what would otherwise appear to be the GIF of the ball kid faceplanting into the wall at the Barcelona Open.
With Harris having only one year left on his contract and costing $260K more than camp darling WR Austin Watkins Jr. (who was just waived), you'd probably be hard pressed to find any group of Browns fans that wouldn't swap out Harris for Watkins like a tray of rancid sheep entrails for a bowl of frosted flakes.
I'm thoroughly impressed that AB's powers of self-evaluation have graduated to a station from which his draft failures are visible and evident. Even better, he and the front office are now making strides to correct those missteps. Well done, sirs.