Cleveland Browns: Surprises, disappointments from 2021 cuts

Cleveland Browns Curits Weaver (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Curits Weaver (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns have started rolling out cuts as general manager constructs his final 53-man roster.

The team has to finalize its cuts by 4 p.m. today. Here’s a look at disappointments, surprises, and players we’d like to see return to the practice squad after the first day of cuts.

Cleveland Browns: Disappointments

1. Curtis Weaver: Weaver was an exciting prospect coming out of the 2020 NFL Draft with many prognosticators tying him to the Browns in the later rounds.

The Boise State sack machine landed with the Dolphins, got hurt and. was promptly cut. The Browns scooped him up and kept him on IR for the entire season.

Well, Weaver got healthy, but you hardly heard anything about him, as he was overshadowed by other players.

Even longshot Joe Jackson’s number was called more than Weaver’s. The Browns obviously liked something about him. I wonder if he’ll be a candidate to bring back to the practicesquad.

2. JoJo Natson’s career never got going in Cleveland. He suffered a knee injury last season, and he was probably edged out by the emergence of late-round pick Demetric Felton, who may be better at receiver than running back–the position he played in college.

Cleveland Browns: Surprises

1. Cameron Malveaux always seemed to find himself in the backfield pestering opposing quarterbacks throughout the team’s three preseason games.

He had an impressive bull-rush for a sack against the Falcons, as he graded out as the team’s best defensive player.

It wasn’t enough, though, as Malveaux was one of the big surprise cuts of the day.

2. Porter Gustin was cut, leaving the defensive end position with Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, Takk McKinley and Joe Jackson. Jackson was a big long shot. He played well, but does he really make the team? We’ll find out at 4 p.m.

As for Gustin–he played major reps last season as a backup filling in for Myles Garrett (COVID) and  Olivier Vernon.

He didn’t quite live up to the hype machine built up by the Browns Twitteratti, as he was just OK. He had 30 tackles, but didn’t have a sack. He started three games and appeared in 14.

Cleveland Browns: We’d like to see more

1. I’d like to see more of Tegray Scales, the former Indiana University linebacker who hails from Colerain High School near Cincinnati.

Scales had a sack in the preseason finale and would be one of my choices for the practice squad.

2. The safety position has been vastly upgraded, indicated by Sheldrick Redwine being cut. The veteran wasn’t able to get on the field for Training Camp and the Browns were apparently ready to move on.

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Redwine isn’t the one I’d bring back, though. I thought Jovante Moffat had some moments and I think he’d be a good fit on the practice squad.