The Top 5 Cut Wide Receivers That The Browns Should Add
On Saturday, NFL teams were forced to cut their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players. For some teams this cut can mean parting ways with players that they once valued or sometimes even still value, but just do not have room for any more. For the Cleveland Browns, this year’s cut to 53 presents an opportunity. The Browns organization has spurned its responsibility to adequately acquire NFL caliber Wide Receivers on this team. It should have been an area of apprehension before the loss of Josh Gordon, but with the knowledge of Gordon’s suspension and plenty of time to prepare for his absence, the Browns didn’t address the position sufficiently. Therefore, the Browns need to examine all available options in hopes that they can infuse their roster with more wide receiver talent.
When a team cuts a player, that player becomes available to the other teams in the NFL via waivers. The Browns just need to put a claim in for that player by Sunday, August 31st at 12:00 PM. The order of priority when multiple teams make a waivers claims is the same order as the draft, so the Browns should have the third highest waiver priority in the NFL. If a player clears waivers or does not get claimed, he becomes available to all 31 teams as a free agent.
This is my list of 5 wide receivers that got cut on Saturday and could have real value for the Browns. The addition of any of these players would enhance the talent level at this position for the Browns. They are going to have to take a chance on some guys, that’s just the reality of the position they are in, with only themselves to blame. Here is my list of Wide Receivers the Browns should bring in to heighten the caliber of player they will be throwing the ball to in 2014:
Stephen Hill: Stephen Hill was cut by the N.Y. Jets on Saturday. Hill was a second round draft pick two years ago. He was hindered by some injury issues and struggled with the transition to a pro-style offense from the triple option that he played in at Georgia Tech. He also impeded his own progress with the propensity to drop the ball. Hill caught 45 balls for 594 yards and 4 touchdowns in his two years with the Jets.
Hill’s agent, Alan Herman, contends that he was never given a proper opportunity in New York due to poor quarterback play and the Jets’ inability to throw the deep ball to him. Hill is a 6’4” and 215 lb. specimen of an athlete. He ran a 4.36 40 yard dash at the Combine. Herman has high hopes that Hill can help a wide receiver deficient team and went on to say “I would think the Browns would put in a claim … (Coach Mike) Pettine knows him and they need receivers and Stephen can stretch the field.”
Vincent Brown: The San Diego Chargers decided to proceed without their 2011 third round pick, Vincent Brown, on Saturday. The Chargers waived/injured Brown which means teams have until 9 AM on Sunday morning to claim him under his current contract parameters. This is unlikely and Brown will be placed on San Diego’s injured reserve. He is expected to then sign an injury settlement and become a free agent.
Brown has 60 career catches for 81 yards and 3 touchdowns. He missed the entire 2012 season with a broken ankle but returned to start 18 games in 2013 including 2 playoff games. He had 41 catches for 472 yards last year but has been unable to practice since late July with a calf injury which is what ultimately led the Chargers to move on. The 25 year old will be highly sought after considering ESPN’s Adam Caplan reported that he will be 100% in a week.
Robert Meachem: There were conflicting reports about New Orleans Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem but it is true, the Saints terminated Meachem’s contract on Saturday. Meachem was the Saints first round pick in 2007 and was a staple in their offense for years. In his first six years with New Orleans, Meachem caught 157 balls for 2,593 yards and 25 touchdowns. The eight year veteran spent last season with the San Diego Chargers where he had an disappointing season, catching only 16 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns. He returned to the Saints this off season but they elected to go with Joe Morgan instead. Meachem certainly still has good football in him and would be an instant upgrade for the Browns. He posted this on his Twitter account after finding out he was done in New Orleans, “God has a plan for all of us. But when we are stressed out God has already worked it out!”
Josh Boyce: The New England Patriots cut their 4th round pick from a year ago, Josh Boyce from TCU. Boyce is 5’11” and 205 Lbs. with excellent potential. He started three games as a rookie for the Patriots last year and played in 9 games. An ankle injury in December put him on injured reserve for the rest of the 2013 season. He only caught 9 passes for 121 yards before his injury. However, there is no doubt that he has excellent potential and already has some game experience.
Kris Durham: Kris Durham was cut by the Detroit Lions on Saturday. Durham was one of Matt Stafford’s favorite targets, and his good friend, considering they went to college together. With injuries to Nate Burleson (cut by the Browns this year) and Ryan Broyles, Durham stepped up big time for the Lions last year. He was the team’s second leading receiver behind Calvin Johnson. He had an impressive 38 catches for 490 yards last season. Durham would be a very intriguing addition considering his size and athleticism. He is 6’6” and weighs 215 Lbs. That kind of size would bring a dimension to the Browns receivers that is missing, not to mention his recent success when given a chance to play last season.
There is a profusion of untapped talent in NFL football as can be seen by the abundance of household names and proven talent that found themselves without a job on Saturday. There are players that can help remedy the unfortunate condition of the Browns wide receiving corps. These are the players that I think would help and should be considered but mostly we should demand that Ray Framer and company do their due diligence in finding someone who can help produce in the passing game.
By: Brad Ward
Follow @CST_BradWard on Twitter