Trying to predict which players are likely to get a visit from
the Turk this time of year is not only a morbid exercise, but also somewhat of a
frustrating one. With practices closed to the media, only exhibition games are
available for outsiders to evaluate the level of play among players on the
Still, there weren't too many huge surprises among today's final
roster cuts, but some that may come as mild surprises.
On the positive side of the ledger are Aaron Shea and Richard Alston, two players given little chance to stick with the team as Training Camp
started in July. Injury history and the Browns deep WR corps, respectively,
seemed to doom the two. Shea was likely saved by his versatility of being able
to play tight end, fullback, and special teams, and Alston simply played his way
onto the roster in pre-season.
Among the cuts of note are TE Darnell Sanders, the team's
fourth-round draft choice in 2002, and is the first draft choice of the Butch Davis era released by the Browns head coach. Sanders found himself challenged by
three players who have joined the Browns since the beginning of the 2003 season:
Steve Heiden, Keith Heinrich, and Kellen Winslow. Pushed down on the depth chart
and a non-factor on special teams, Sanders likely lost out for the same reasons
that Rickey Dudley was sent on his way by Davis in 2002.
DE Mark Word is also a victim of the numbers game, as he was
pushed by off-season acquisition Ebenezer Ekuban and NFL Europe standout Corey Jackson. With Ekuban perceived to bring more as a pass rusher, and Jackson
having more up-side, Word simply was squeezed out. As a veteran player, Word is
able to sign right away with a new club, and does not have to go on waivers. He
is likely to land somewhere else soon.
Receivers Frisman Jackson and C.J. Jones were perceived to be
emerging players as Training Camp dawned. Unfortunately for them, they simply
lost out to Andre King and Richard Alston as the latter two players had
outstanding pre-seasons. Andre King was a favorite target in exhibition games,
and Alston again showed the big-play ability he demonstrated in NFL Europe.
Jones was also hurt by the emergence of Dee Brown as a kick returner.
Finally, the release of CB Roosevelt Williams would have been
considered a surprise as camp dawned. Williams joined the Browns late in the
2003 season and was considered to be a "find" by Butch Davis as several points.
Williams was thought to be pushing upwards on the depth chart. The 2002
third-round selection struggled in his final pre-season games, particularly
against Chicago, and apparently lost some of the confidence of the coaching
Also cut by the Browns today were veterans
Felipe Claybrooks, OT
LB Sherrod Coates, OL
K Derek Schorejs, OT
DT Cedric Scott, RB
Nick Maddox, DB
Ricky Sharpe, FB
Corey McIntyre, LB
TE Chad Mustard, CB
and DT John Nix
as well as remaining rookie free agents OT Lew Dawson and LB