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QB Brock Osweiler released by Browns, sources say

The Cleveland Browns released Brock Osweiler on Friday, a source confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter, one day before they had to trim their roster to 53 players.

The move leaves the Browns with Cody Kessler and likely Kevin Hogan as backups to rookie starter DeShone Kizer.

Kessler and Hogan are both in their second seasons, and neither has won a game in the NFL.

Acquired in the offseason from the Houston Texans, Osweiler was given a chance to earn the starting job in Cleveland. He started two games in the preseason, but did not play well, completing 12 of 22 passes for 67 yards.

When Kizer scored 23 points in almost two halves of football, the Browns turned to Kizer. Osweiler did not play in either of the team's final two preseason games.

The Browns acquired Osweiler in a March trade that also sent Houston's second-round pick in the 2018 draft to Cleveland. The Browns basically accepted Osweiler's guaranteed $16 million salary to get the draft pick. But when they could not find a solution to the quarterback position other than the draft, they kept Osweiler through the preseason.

Hogan earned a roster spot with his play in the final two preseason games; he completed 21 of 32 passes for 269 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in three preseason games. His play came against third- and fourth-team defenses, but his QB rating was 123.

Coach Hue Jackson said on a midafternoon conference call that he had not yet decided who would be the backup.

Kessler has eight starts from his rookie season but had a slow start to this preseason while Hogan finished strong.

The Athletic first reported news of Osweiler's release.

The Browns made three other moves with veterans on Friday when they released offensive lineman John Greco, place-kicker Cody Parkey and defensive lineman Xavier Cooper, a league source confirmed.

The release of Greco was a surprise. He was a starter a year ago until being sidelined by Lisfranc surgery. He returned and was filling in for the injured Joel Bitonio (knee) at left guard. Greco could play both guard spots and center, which seemed like a strength.

Parkey lost the place-kicking competition to rookie seventh-round pick Zane Gonzalez, whose strong leg on kickoffs was noticeable. In the preseason finale, Gonzalez made a 53-yard field goal, but he also put an extra point into the uprights.

Cooper was a third-round draft pick in 2015 but got caught in a numbers game after the Browns selected Larry Ogunjobi and Caleb Brantley in this year's draft.