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Browns begin making roster cuts ahead of deadline to reduce to 53 players

JoJo Natson Browns
Posted at 5:52 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 19:31:27-04

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns are set to reduce their roster from 80 players to 53 by Tuesday at 4 p.m. and with a lot of decisions ahead of them, the team is beginning to make the necessary roster moves.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski said Monday that he expected some moves to begin later in the day and sure enough, initial roster cuts began Monday evening.

Several reports have the following names included in the initial releases:

  • QB Kyle Lauletta
  • S Sheldrick Redwine
  • DE Curtis Weaver
  • WR JoJo Natson
  • LB Tegray Scales
  • DT Marvin Wilson
  • TE Jordan Franks
  • DE Porter Gustin
  • DE Cameron Malveaux
  • LB Willie Harvey Jr.
  • S JoVante' Moffatt
  • CB Brian Allen

Lauletta, a fourth round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Giants, was signed to the Browns practice squad in October 2020 after spending the 2019 season with the Eagles and beginning the 2020 season on the Falcons' practice squad. During this preseason, Lauletta threw 44-for-72 with 514 yards and three touchdowns.

Redwine was selected by the Browns and then-general manager John Dorsey in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and has appeared in 27 games with eight starts. In his time with Cleveland, Redwine has recorded 65 tackles, a pass defended, a half-sack and an interception which he notched in the Browns AFC Wild Card win over the Steelers.

Weaver was claimed by the Browns via waivers in August 2020 after being released by the Miami Dolphins, who had selected him in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Weaver missed his rookie season with a foot injury but was looking to bounce back from it this year.

The Browns signed Natson in March 2020 after he had spent time with the Rams, Jets and Colts, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2017. The former Akron Zip star receiver served as the kickoff and punt returner for the Browns in 2020 before he suffered an ACL injury in Week 3. The Browns re-signed Natson in March.

Scales was the newest addition to the Browns, signing with the team on August 25. Signed by the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2018, Over the past few years, Scales has also spent time with the Colts, Steelers and Buccaneers, as well as being selected by the Dallas Renegades in the 2020 XFL Draft.

The Browns signed Wilson as an undrafted free agent in May. Wilson was thought to be a draft lock and signed a massive rookie contract that included a $30,000 signing bonus plus $162,000 in guaranteed base salary. When he headed into FSU, he was the nation’s No. 1 defensive tackle prospect. In his sophomore campaign, Wilson started five of 12 games and garnered honorable mention All-ACC honors, recording 42 tackles, 4.5 for loss, and 3.5 sacks. The following year, Wilson earned first-team All-ACC honors and led FSU with five sacks in addition to recording 44 tackles, 8.5 for loss.

Franks was signed by the Browns in October 2020. He had appeared in six games for the Bengals, who signed him as an undrafted free agent, in 2018 and spent the entire 2019 season on their practice squad. This preseason, Franks recorded nine receptions for 75 yards.

The Browns signed Gustin to their practice squad in 2019 and elevated him to their active roster a few weeks later. Originally signed by the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2019, Gustin played in both Browns playoff games last year and posted his first career interception against the Steelers—the first time a Browns defensive lineman posted a pick in the playoffs since 1971. Gustin comes as the biggest surprise of any of the initial releases after showing promise as a solid rotational piece on the line.

Malveaux entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Dolphins in 2017 and joined the Browns practice squad in October 2020 after spending time with the Cardinals, Chiefs, Football Team and 49ers. This preseason, Malveaux recorded six tackles and two sacks.

Harvey was signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa State after the 2019 NFL Draft. After going through training camp in 2019, Harvey was waived by the Browns but signed to the practice squad the following day where he spent most of his time. In September 2020, Harvey was waived by the Browns but recently re-signed with the team.

Moffatt was signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent in May 2020 and signed to the practice squad in September 2020. Moffatt played in nine games last season, taking most of his snaps on special teams.

The Browns signed Allen in January ahead of the AFC Wild Card playoff game, but he was inactive for both postseason games. Drafted by the Steelers in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Allen has spent time with the Seahawks, Bills and Bengals. This preseason Allen recorded eight tackles.

The players released by the Browns during the final round of roster cuts will go through the waiver wire. Players who clear waivers and are not signed by another team may have a shot to end up back with the Browns on their practice squad.

The Browns can carry 16 players on the practice squad including up to six players with an unlimited amount of accrued seasons.

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