The Cleveland Browns trimmed their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players on Saturday. Here’s a closer look at the final moves:
First win is the first: In going with rookie DeShone Kizer and second-year players Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan, the Browns have committed to youth. None of the three quarterbacks on the roster has won an NFL game. That being said, it also wasn’t surprising that the Browns released Brock Osweiler. It just continued a bizarre saga for the former Texans and Broncos quarterback. In the end, the Browns did commit to paying $16 million -- Osweiler’s guaranteed salary -- to acquire Houston’s second-round pick in the 2018 draft. A draft-day trade also gave the Browns Houston’s first-round pick.
Receiver upgrade: The Browns took a shot at improving a shaky receiving group by trading with the Steelers for Sammie Coates, a big guy with speed who played with injuries a year ago and who has had trouble holding on to the ball. Coates was one of several young receivers whom Ben Roethlisberger challenged as not being up to the moment after the AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots, but Coates was playing with groin and finger problems. In the offseason, he needed surgery to repair the groin issue and also had two knee scopes (it’s not known if it was the same issue twice). Coates told ESPN's Josina Anderson that he’s healthy. If he is, and his big-play ability returns, he would be a positive addition to a thin receiving group.
If you’re a draft pick, count your chickens: The Browns kept all 10 of their draft picks, including cornerback Howard Wilson, who will start the season on the physically unable to perform list. Eleven of 14 draftees from 2016 remain on the team. That’s 20 of 53 on the roster (plus Wilson) from the past two drafts when Sashi Brown, Andrew Berry and Paul DePodesta took over. The only three not on the roster form the past two drafts are CB Trey Caldwell, WR Jordan Payton and LB Scoobie Wright. Safety Kai Nacua was the only undrafted rookie to make the roster.
Trending young: Thirty-five of the Browns' 53 players on the roster are 24 or younger. Five are 21, five are 22, 14 are 23 and 11 are 24. The roster has three players over 30: CB Jason McCourty, punter Britton Colquitt and offensive tackle Joe Thomas.
Released (27): WR Mario Alford, WR Rasheed Bailey, LB B.J. Bello, WR Josh Boyce, DB Christian Bryant, DB Trey Caldwell, DL Xavier Cooper, OL Anthony Fabiano, LB Ladell Fleming, WR Randell Hall, DB J.D. Harmon, DB Alvin Hill, TE J.P. Holtz, TE Nate Iese, LB Deon King, WR Jordan Leslie, RB Terrence Magee, TE Taylor McNamara, WR Richard Mullaney, DB Najee Murray, OL Kitt O’Brien, LB Kenneth Ougbode, OK Cody Parkey, WR Jordan Payton, DL Karter Schult, DB Channon Stribling, DL Brandon Thompson.
Acquired (1): WR Sammie Coates in a trade with the Steelers.
Terminated vested veteran (4): WR Josh Boyce, OL John Greco, QB Brock Osweiler, DL Brandon Thompson.
Waived/injured (1): RB Brandon Wilds (injury designation).
Placed on PUP (1): CB Howard Wilson.