Cleveland Browns: 3 possible surprise cuts that could happen this preseason

Cleveland Browns (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns Joe Schobert (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) /

Olivier Vernon

It feels like depending on the week will determine how much hope there is for Olivier Vernon. Right now Vernon has no competition at the left defensive end spot but he might if the team goes gets Everson Griffen or Jadeveon Clowney. Now, that doesn’t mean that the team will cut Vernon even if they bring someone else in. His money is good for only this season and unless the Browns need to go get Cam Newton due to a potential injury to Baker Mayfield, there isn’t a need to get rid of Vernon’s contract. A positional change could happen for Vernon, or the team could just use him in pass-rushing downs in the interior, sorta playing him like a J.J. Watt type (only on passing downs only). It’s also entirely possible that new signing or not, head coach Kevin Stefanski could be utterly unimpressed with him and cuts him regardless of who’s at his position.

It’s not that Vernon is a one-year wonder as a Pro Bowler that concerns fans. It’s not that he’s only had one double-digit sack season. It’s the fact that he’s 30, and has three straight seasons of declining availability due to injuries.

This is a point often brought up with Odell Beckham Jr. that fans don’t want to hear but injuries sap people of their talent. The more injuries you have, the less athletic you become. The wear and tear becomes too great and eventually, you go from a 4.3 40-yard-dash to a 4.8 because that ankle just isn’t healing right. Well, that same logic applies to Vernon as well.

He played in just 12 games in 2017, 11 games in 2018, and then 10 games in 2019. There’s no way anyone would be ok with just nine games in 2020; you know, should the trend continue.

There’s always a possibility that Vernon plays 16 games, has 10+ sacks and makes everyone a believer. There’s also an even bigger possibility that Vernon gets hurt in the first practice of the pre-season and is ruled out for the year and is subsequently cut.