The Browns made a flurry of roster moves this morning as the Browns cut their
roster in advance of tomorrow's deadline to get down to 65 players.
The most critical moves came on the defensive side of the ball, as Brant Boyer was placed on Injured Reserve, a move that means that he will not be able
to play for the Browns in 2004. The Browns hoped that Boyer would be a critical
element of their linebacking corps and special teams, and signed him to a
four-year contract extension before the season began.
The Browns also placed second-round draft pick Sean Jones (safety) on the
Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Putting Jones on the PUP rather than
the IR allows the Browns to return him to the team between week six and week
eight of the season, at which point the club will have three weeks to determine
whether or not to spend a roster spot on him.
Joining Boyer on the IR, and therefore lost for the season, are Chad Beasley
(OL), Ben Miller (FB), and Michael Grant (DB). Beasley entered Training Camp as
the team's initial starter at left guard, but has seen his stock plummet in
recent weeks, particularly after last Saturday's performance against Kansas
City. Miller was eligible to play with the Browns this year after serving out
his time with the Air Force, and Grant was a rookie free agent who performed
well in Training Camp.
Also going onto the PUP list are tight end Keith Heinrich and defensive
tackle Antonio Garay. Both would have been in competition for reserve roles in
2004, but were injured during the off-season and, like Sean Jones, will be
evaluated to see if they can return after the sixth week of the season. Running
back and seventh-round draft choice Adimchinobe Echemandu is given a similar
designation (Reserve Non-Football Injury List) which will allow the team to
evaluate his progress later this year.
The Browns also waived three players out-right, giving them their release
from the club.
Josh Buhl, a linebacker who led the NCAA in tackles last season at Kansas State, was released today. Buhl was considered an intriguing player who might
have lacked the size to play linebacker in the NFL. Many draft pundits felt that
he would be better suited to play at safety, but the Browns never gave him an
opportunity to learn the position.
Derrick Frost's outstanding performance in the pre-season was also
recognized, as the team ended the punting competition by waiving P Ryan Dutton.
Frost's emergence as the top punter has been little in doubt since the first
week of the pre-season. Finally, the Browns waived QB Nate Hybl, an unsurprising
move given his sub-par performance in NFL Europe and his lack of opportunity
this Summer. Hybl was, at several points in 2003, an injury away from being the
Browns quarterback, as the third quarterback behind Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb.