The Browns are switching to a base 3-4 defense in 2013, which means there is going to be some personnel turnover, even for players who performed fairly well last season. Defensive end Frostee Rucker is the first casualty of this defensive shift, as the Browns released him on Tuesday.
Rucker was signed to a five-year, $20.5 million deal last year and was paid $6 million for his one year in Cleveland, including the $5 million signing bonus and $1 million base salary.
Despite starting all 16 games in 2012 at right end, most of Rucker’s $2.5 million salary for 2013 would have been guaranteed had he stayed on the roster by Wednesday.
Though he only had four sacks on the season, Rucker was a mainstay on the defensive line and it will be unfortunate for the Browns to give up on that. However, the 4-3 is history and guys like Rucker quickly become expendable.