Browns: 5 most surprising players the team didn’t cut

Cleveland Browns Malik McDowell (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Malik McDowell (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns Takkarist McKinley (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /

Takkarist McKinley

The Browns only kept three defensive ends. If you had told me that and then said that they were Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, and Porter Gustin, then ok. Heck, Joe Jackson or Cameron Malveaux; sure. Not as smart of a move but sure, still works.

Takk McKinley? He was an iffy signing, to begin with. He’s missed 15 games in the last three years, and his last two years have been awful. He’s never been a player graded at anything over 69.6 on PFF, so his upside is obviously not very high. Then you factor in that he’s missed all of the preseason essentially and is probably not in football shape, and then you start to see that retaining McKinley was a bit of a shock.

Gustin, Malveaux, and Jackson all had good preseasons, all of whom were really solid players. McKinley? Well, he’s basically been gone the whole preseason, and that’s after coming off a serious injury in Atlanta. The Browns are hoping his reputation from two years is who he is still.

A reputation of a nice number of sacks, but a PFF score that would argue his efficiency.

The Browns are doing the same thing with Kareem Hunt and Odell Beckham Jr., the difference is, if those two lost 10% of what they were, they’re still good enough to have on the team. If McKinley lost 10% of what he was, he’ll be cut from a CFL preseason team.

If McKinley fails to impress early and often, while cutting three effective defensive ends, conversations will need to be had about decision making. Namely, who’s making it. It’s one thing to whiff on one player or so every year, it’s another to purposely ignore obvious decisions.

The Browns may have whiffed on five or so at this rate. Only time will tell.