The Cleveland Browns have made their cuts today as they get down to the standard 53-man roster, and their biggest move was probably to take Isaiah Crowell over Dion Lewis at the running back position. Other than that, there really weren’t any other notable decisions, though the Browns are keeping a plethora of defensive backs on the roster.
ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports that the Browns have cut ties with veteran linebacker Zac Diles, so this might actually be their most surprising move of the day for some. Many expected Diles to make the roster, as the former Houston Texans LB was signed in early May after showing up well enough at a spring tryout. He has plenty of experience and once recorded 82 tackles with the Texans, but he offers little outside of run-stuffing ability. That said, he’s only a “nice veteran backup” with some special teams ability, and the Browns probably want to give higher-upside players more looks instead.
Caplan also reports that the Browns have, as everyone expected, decided to keep wide receiver Charles Johnson on the roster, and Johnson wowed us all in the first preseason game with a particularly nice run after the catch. With Nate Burleson gone (this decision was less surprising, even if the veteran wideout is a notable name), the path has been cleared for Johnson to earn plenty of reps on the outside. He has intriguing ability and agility, so we’ll all be watching him in Week 1.