Yesterday we shared with you a group of Cleveland Browns that were noted as having “benefited the most from the off-season.” It was a list of veteran, young veteran, players that looked like they have picked up their game during the down time and could be in for big things when Training Camp and the season starts. Today we bring you an opposite list, a list of veterans that are in danger of possibly being cut from the Browns roster following Training Camp.
Rubin is currently listed as the starter on the odd man front defensive line. Yet he is in the last year of his contract, has had injuries and declining production for the last 2 seasons and is in a battle with a number of other linemen. Billy Winn, John Hughes and others all could compete for Rubin’s spot. He has never been the player to make exciting plays, instead is a constant motor that holds down the offensive line to allow other players to make plays. That technique works in some versions of the 3-4 but not in others. Mike Pettine likes a more attacking style. Could Rubin be lost in the shuffle?
Pinkston could actually compete for the starters position with the Browns or be cut all together. His unfortunate injury issues, as well as poor fit with some of the different coaching philosophies have made his Browns career limited. The Zone Blocking Scheme is right up Pinkston’s alley, but are his ankles in good enough shape to make all the cuts and pulls needed? Will Garrett Gilkey, Paul McGuistan and Joel Bitonio all beat him out in Training Camp? One saving grace for Pinkston is that he could play some Right Tackle if needed. Bitonio and Gilkey also have some RT flexibility but Pettine and Kyle Shanahan could look to Pinkston as a solid backup. That the Browns plan to focus on the running game could mean an extra offensive lineman as well.
Obby could lose his roster spot due to a confluence of issues. The Browns brought in 3 new running backs this off-season including starter Ben Tate, third rounder Terrance West and highly touted, but red flagged, Isaiah Crowell. Obby has switched between running back and fullback but may not fit the type of power FB wanted by Shanahan. Already MarQueis Gray has been highlighted for his play during the off-season and his flexibility within the scheme. The Browns won’t likely keep 2 fullbacks so Obby might be competing with Crowell, Edwin Baker and Dion Lewis for the last RB spot on the roster. His experience could help him, but his age could hurt him. Squarely on the bubble.
Austin is only on this list for one reason: health. If Austin’s hamstrings are in good order expect him to be one of the opening day starters. Yet if he can’t stay healthy through Training Camp expect the Browns to cut him to give another veteran or one of their youngsters a chance. Austin’s legs have given him a ton of problems over the past few years and no treatment seems to have worked for him. If he is able to play he will be a solid veteran, possession receiver. If he is not he will be a small “what if” story added to the pile of hundreds.
Thigpen will most certainly sit behind Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel if he makes the roster. Thigpen has had an interesting career where some teams have seen him as a possible starter only to see him flame out. He will be in competition with Connor Shaw for the backup spot. The Browns will likely keep 3 QBs as Hoyer is coming off injury and Manziel’s playing style puts him in position to get hurt. Will the Browns trust their depth chart to 2 rookies? Will Thigpen’s experience be enough to keep him in a job? Is it possible Rex Grossman‘s name could pop back up at some time? Lots and lots of questions to be answered at the QB spot, both at the top and bottom of the depth chart.
Who would you not want cut of these 5? Someone we missed that you think might get cut?