Browns cut Brock Osweiler, John Greco as roster reduction rolls on

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns began the process of trimming the roster on Friday, and some familiar, but not unexpected names, have been released.

The Cleveland Browns got a jump on trimming the roster down to the NFL-mandated 53-man limit with a flurry of roster moves on Friday.

The team officially released 18 players, according to the team’s website, with the most-familiar names being wide receivers Mario Alford and Rasheed Bailey. The Browns also placed rookie cornerback Howard Wilson on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

But it is the moves that the team has yet to announce that are the most noteworthy, starting with quarterback Brock Osweiler, who has been released, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:

Osweiler had one of the strangest tenures in recent team history, which is saying a lot considering what we’ve all witnessed over the past few years.

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The Browns acquired Osweiler and his $16 million guaranteed contract from the Houston Texans in March. The Texans were so desperate to get out from the contract they signed Osweiler to just a year earlier that they threw in a 2018 second-round draft pick.

Many expected Osweiler to be cut on the spot, but he came to training camp, was a professional and started the first two preseason games. At one point it looked like he would be the temporary starter to open the regular season, but those two preseason starts were enough for head coach Hue Jackson to decided that the club was better off without the veteran quarterback.

Joining Osweiler on the waiver wire is guard John Greco, according to Mary Kay Cabot at

Greco had been with the Browns since 2011, making 66 starts, primarily at guard but also filling in as the emergency center. As a 32-year-old player on a rebuilding team, Greco was always in trouble of losing his roster spot, but in recent weeks it looked like he would make the final roster, at least temporarily, while starting left guard Joel Bitonio recovers from a knee injury.

The Browns must be confident that Bitonio is going to make it back for the season opener, however, to let go of Greco, who is still a reliable insurance policy along the interior of the offensive line.

Switching to the defense, Cleveland has also release third-year defensive tackle Xavier Cooper, according to Nate Ulrich of

Cooper was a third-round selection in 2015 and was mostly a backup with the Browns, making just two starts with the team and posting just 1.5 sacks and 22 tackles.

His release is not much of a surprise as Jackson and executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown have been systematically cleaning out the mistakes made by former general manager Ray Farmer. Of the 18 players that Farmer drafted, only seven remain with the Browns, and that number may drop over the weekend.

Finally, rookie Zane Gonzalez has won the kicking competition over incumbent Cody Parkey, according to Mary Kay Cabot at

It has been a busy day in Berea, but it is only the beginning of what will be a long weekend. The Browns have to be down to 53 players by 4 p.m. on Saturday, but the roster turnover will continue throughout the weekend as the team picks through the pool of players released across the league to see who they might find.

Next: Perfect preseason provides a glimmer of hope

There is no doubt that some players who may feel safe come 4:01 on Saturday afternoon may quickly find how quickly things can change.