The Cleveland Browns made a few roster moves today in light of the fact that Travis Benjamin was placed on injured reserve and Charles Johnson was no longer counted against the active roster after being plucked from the Green Bay Packers practice squad only to be found to have an ACL tear. In place of Benjamin, the Browns signed Armanti Edwards, formerly of the Carolina Panthers as well as offensive tackle Reid Fragel from the Cincinnati Bengals.
Edwards was an extremely athletic quarterback that played at Appalachian State and was running the offense that led to the upset over Michigan. While he was athletic, he was a total project at wide receiver and it was a stunning surprise when the Panthers took him as a third round pick. Not surprisingly, he struggled and really never was able to make an impact.
Edwards obviously does have familiarity with Rob Chudzinski as he was his offensive coordinator while both were in Carolina. It remains to be seen what role they have in mind for Edwards and if he is purely going to be used as a return option or if they want to use him as an actual receiver in some sets. Along with MarQueis Gray, the Browns have a nice collection of former collegiate quarterbacks that play other positions. They have the potential to get nuts with double passes in the offense for trick plays now as well as read plays.
Reid Fragel was an extremely intriguing option when the draft actually happened. The reason was pretty simple. The Browns could really use a swing tackle that could backup Joe Thomas and develop behind him. With Fragel, he had great feet and the ability to play as a left tackle athletically, but needed to get significantly stronger.
At Ohio State, Fragel was initially a tight end who became a tackle his senior year and while he had early struggles, really got in a nice groove to finish out the season. It was still clear he needed to get stronger and more powerful, but he showed to be a solid pass protector from the blind side. No one would ever suggest replacing Thomas, but having someone that could conceivably step in should he get hurt is certainly not a bad thing. And if he got good, the Browns could conceivably trade him for assets from another team.
It also does not hurt that Fragel was with the Bengals and the Browns play them after the bye week. How much information a player like Fragel can provide is always questionable because of the access to film and the fact that information he could provide that is useful is generally time sensitive. Nevertheless, the Browns get a player that could become something worth keeping and potentially some information on a division foe they face in a couple weeks. The Browns have an incredible amount of offensive linemen on the roster in a league filled with mediocre offensive line play, which could be a smart move. With Fragel, he is still just a rookie so there is a lot of potential there.
The Browns also signed wide receiver Tori Gurley and linebacker Brandon Magee to the practice squad again in how they juggled the roster. The Browns keep bringing in young players in hopes of finding useful pieces they can use down the road. If they cannot, they simply move on from them, but they have been smart about trying to take advantage of a bad situation with injuries in hopes of finding players that can be useful in the short or the long term.