Only a few short months ago it looked like the Browns would be starting the season with Josh Gordon and Nate Burleson atop the wide receiver depth chart, but here we stand on the brink of the season, Gordon suspended for the season, and news breaking today that the Browns have parted ways with the veteran Burleson as they cut their roster to 53. Despite a lack of depth and experience at the receiver position Burleson’s release isn’t a complete shock. The Browns never got a good look at the 33 year old as Burleson struggled to stay healthy through training camp and has appeared in only 15 games over the past two seasons. The Browns already have an injury prone veteran in Miles Austin, and keeping Burleson on the roster likely would have created too much uncertainty in a thin receiving group.
With Burleson gone the Browns starting wide receivers will likely be Miles Austin and Andrew Hawkins, but look for undrafted rookie Taylor Gabriel to see some playing time as he was a bright spot for a Browns offense that struggled to move the ball. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the Browns try to bring in Jets cast off Stephen Hill, or former Lion Kris Durham as intriguing young talents with starting experience to provide some depth (and size) to a mostly unproven group.