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Behind Browns moves with Andy Lee, K'Waun Williams and Paul Kruger

BEREA, Ohio -- It was a busy day for the Cleveland Browns on Monday.

First they released staring outside linebacker Paul Kruger.

Then they released last seasons's nickel back K'Waun Williams, who had been suspended the past two weeks for violating team rules.

Then they traded punter Andy Lee, a three-time Pro Bowler. In exchange they received a fourth-round pick in 2018 and Kasey Redfern, a first-year punter.

This just a few days after the Browns traded Barkevious Mingo, a former sixth overall pick to New England for a fifth-round draft pick in 2017.

The overhaul rolls on, with a continued emphasis on future draft picks and young players. Just six players remain in the roster who are over 30 years old -- Josh McCown, Tramon Williams, John Greco, Joe Thomas, Gary Barnidge and Andrew Hawkins.

In exchange for a punter, the Browns received a fourth-round draft pick in 2018 -- a high return. A fourth-round choice matches the highest draft pick a team has received for a punter since 1994, according to ProFootballReference.com.

The last time that happened was 2005, when Carolina traded Todd Sauerbrun to Denver. There have been only five trades for punters since 1994, with Lee involved in two of them.

The deal took place three days after coach Hue Jackson castigated Lee on the sidelines for his lack of effort on a return in Friday's third preseason game. Jackson said after the game Lee made amends with his effort on a later return and the Browns and he would "move on."

Williams was the Browns nickel back the last two seasons, but was losing his job to Jamar Taylor in camp. He was suspended by the Browns for the past two weeks for unspecified violations of team rules. Williams' agent Evan Krakower told Cleveland.com he would appeal the suspension.

"K'Waun was one of my really good friends on the team," Joe Haden said of Williams on Aug. 21. "Just a tough situation. Some people, you gotta really love this to be here. It's a lot of hours, a lot of things you have to put into it, and if your'e not all-in to it then it's no one's place to tell you what you want to do.

"I'm here for K'Waun whatever he wants to do, but we've got to just keep moving on with who we've got here."

Kruger departs because the Browns did not plan to play him every down and the team wondered how he'd react to a reduced role.

His production had dropped from 11 sacks in 2014 to 2.5 in 2015 -- though those numbers were affected by switching him from weak to the strong side. The move angered Kruger and caught teammates by surprise. The remaining Browns outside linebackers have three career sacks, total.

The team tried to address the outside pass rush in the draft by taking Emmanuel Ogbah with the first pick in the second round, so Ogbah figures to get the first chance to replace Kruger. He is listed as the starter on the unofficial depth chart released Monday.

The Browns have asked a lot of Ogbah. In the spring, he was an outside linebacker. In the fall he moved to a down lineman following the loss of Desmond Bryant to injury, and looked good playing there. Now he'll move back to outside linebacker and likely line up with his hand down in pass rush situations.

"I think he'll be fine," Jackson said.

Others who will get a look include fourth-round pick Joe Schobert and Cam Johnson, who spent most of 2015 on the Browns practice squad.