2021 Cleveland Browns: Initial Reaction to 53-man Roster
There are a few strange concepts on the initial 53-man roster posted by the Cleveland Browns. Here is a deeper look between the lines.
At 4 PM the Cleveland Browns had to have the roster down to 53-men for their opening day when they will take on the defending AFC Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. Fans knew there would certainly be some tough cuts, but there were a few more shocks than that when you initially glance at the 53-man roster.
The four biggest shocks for me? There were 10 offensive linemen kept, seven linebackers, only five wide receivers, and only three defensive ends.
Some teams only keep eight offensive linemen so 10 seems like a lot, and with the switch to the 4-2-5 defense, it seems aggressive to have seven linebackers as well.
I get that Kevin Stefanski is big on tight ends and less on receivers, but I still expected them to keep six. As far as a defensive end, I get that Malik Jackson can move outside if needed, but there is no way they don’t have some sort of plan to add another defensive end.
What are we missing? From what I can gather, the Browns have two players that are likely to be moved to injured reserve (IR) as early as tomorrow. These players needed to be on the original roster to be eligible to return this season.
Michael Dunn (guard) and Jacob Phillips (linebacker), are both expected to fit that bill. I am surprised there’s hope for Phillips to return this season but better safe than sorry, I guess?
Those two moves to IR fix all your issues. The Browns will then have nine offensive linemen, six linebackers, and two open spots to sign a wide receiver and a defensive end.
KhaDarel Hodge is likely on the team’s radar if he clears waivers, but he would likely have to take a pay cut. The biggest concern I have with this strategy is the Browns thinking a high-quality pass rusher will be available in the back half of the waiver order.
Time will tell, but does Andrew Berry have a trade up his sleeve?