Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cuts, Cuts, Cuts... Browns Release Seven

Cuts, cuts, cuts. I love cuts. The Cleveland Browns trimmed some dead weigh yesterday releasing seven players on the first day permissible by NFL rules. No one of real consequence but some familiar names nonetheless.

The unfamiliar names were punter Mike Dragosavich, kicker Jason Reda and offensive lineman Eric Young. Young spent the entire year on the non-football injury list after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee.

Dragosavich and Reda have the misfortune of playing positions manned by two of the toughest players on the football team. The Browns have the misfortune of having those positions being punter and kicker, respectively. Sad but true for the Brown and Orange.

Linebacker Antwan Peek was also jettisoned after two injury plagued season in Cleveland. Peek missed the entire 2008 season with a torn patellar tendon he suffered right before the season began.

He had four sacks in an injury plagued 2007 and hopes were high that he and Kamerion Wimbley could provided the pass rush the Browns have been lacking since Wimbley’s rookie year in 2006. We all know how that turned out in 2008.

Cornerback Terry Cousin was also jettisoned to the chagrin of Browns opponents everywhere. He may be a crafty veteran but the Browns were torched over the middle of the field in almost every game this season. That falls right on the nickel cornerback and anyone who watched the Browns at all this season saw Cousin get abused over the middle on a weekly basis.

But the two big names, if you can call them that, were signal callers Ken Dorsey and Bruce Gradkowski. The zero offensive touchdowns might have something to do with the decision. Dorsey’s 0 to 7 touchdowns to interceptions ratio and Gradkowski’s 2.8 QB rating might also have something to do with it. I am not a stat guy but those numbers can not be ignored.

Dorsey was only around to mentor Brady Quinn plain and simple. People forget he was released before the 2007 season and was only resigned after the Browns traded away Charlie Frye after less than one half of football. Once Dorsey actually had to play significant time his lack of arm strength and NFL ability were exposed.

His release signifies that the new regime values his roster spot for someone who can actually play and not a glorified coach in waiting. This no knock on Dorsey, I am sure he brought a good mind to the table, but we all know the beating that quarterbacks take in the league and all too often a third stringer is required to take some significant snaps in the NFL. 2008 was proof positive that you can not afford to have Ken Dorsey take significant snaps in the NFL.

Gradkowski comes as no surprise either. The Browns picked him up in the last quarter of the season. The fact that no other team picked him up on a flier prior to that is telling in itself. The previous regime signed him to a two year deal in hopes he could back up in the future but his performance, even with him being pressed into duty quickly, showed he could not.

The moves tell me that if, and they should, the Browns trade Derek Anderson they will be in the market for a reliable, proven back-up quarterback. Someone who will fill the mentor role to Brady Quinn that Dorsey had while at the same time being a legitimate option to play should Quinn get hurt.

So nothing of great note but news nonetheless. Now when Anderson or Kellen Winslow get traded things might perk up a little bit. But until then… Dorsey, Gradkowski… CUT!