A little over two years after he was selected as the Browns fourth-round pick in the 2005 draft, the team has elected to part ways with CB Antonio Perkins. The selection has been considered emblematic of a weak second day for Phil Savage during that year's draft, conducted only a couple of months after he took over as the team's General Manager.
The release of Perkins has been predicted by OBR commentators for some time and hardly comes as a surprise as the team heads towards the opening of its 2007 training camp at the end of July. Perkins has failed to contribute either as a cornerback or punt returner, and was likely doomed by the selection of Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald in this year's draft, along with the signing of free agent CB Kenny Wright.
Perkins' success as a college punt returner failed to translate with the Browns, where writers and fans often scratched their heads over the lack of opportunity given to Perkins to show his abilities as a punt returner. While Dennis Northcutt held the position until this off-season, Perkins was rarely seen returning punts during training camp (the team closes practices partway through the pre-season). The team has focused on Josh Cribbs as heir apparent to Northcutt, but are also allowing other players such as rookie Syndric Steptoe to compete for the position.
While with the Sooners, Perkins was a consensus All-American as a return specialist, setting the school mark for career punt return yards. A remarkable 277 punt return yards in a single game against UCLA in 2003 set a Division 1-A, and tied the NCAA record with eight punt returns for touchdowns during his college career.
The Browns also released FB Alan Ricard, whom they signed late in free agency. Ricard was a fixture on the Ravens roster from 2001 through 2005, although he did not play in 2006.
The team also release undrafted rookie free agents offensive linemen Brent Pousson (McNeese State)and Scott Stephanson (Iowa State), a sign of how much harder it is to make the team's roster on the offensive line, following huge investments in the draft and free agency over the last two years.