Browns release Frostee Rucker

Frostee Rucker was the top defensive player targeted by the Cleveland Browns a year ago and he's the first one to go this year. That's what happens when you change defenses.

The Browns announced that they've released Rucker, a move that isn't a surprise. He's a 4-3 defensive end who didn't fit into the Browns' new 3-4 defense. In his first and only season for the Browns, Rucker totaled 48 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble in 16 starts. He was the 52nd-rated 4-3 defensive end this season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rucker was signed to a five-year, $20.5 million deal last March and the hope was for him to improve Cleveland's run defense. He didn't make the expected impact, but it was a profitable year in Cleveland for him. Rucker pocketed $6 million from the Browns and was due a $2 million roster bonus tomorrow, which led to his release today.

He should receive mild interest in free agency for a team that runs a 4-3 defense and is looking to add depth in its rotation.