Cleveland Browns fan favorite could be a training camp casualty

The Cleveland Browns will have some interesting decisions after training camp, including a fan favorite potentially being cut.
Cleveland Browns, Maurice Hurst II
Cleveland Browns, Maurice Hurst II / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Cleveland Browns have high hopes for the 2024 season and general manager Andrew Berry has done a great job of assembling a roster that can contend. With that comes some players not making the roster come August and that could mean some fans will be a little disgruntled.

Pete Smith of the Orange and Brown Report believes that Maurice Hurst will have a "difficult time" making the roster. The main reason that Smith states is that there aren't enough spots on the defensive line for Hurst to get enough snaps. Smith thinks the Browns will carry 10 defensive linemen into the season, five tackles and five ends, but doesn't think it will be likely for Hurst to make the cut.

Hurst re-signed with the Browns this offseason on a one-year, $1.17 deal as he wanted to remain in Cleveland due to the culture and the fanbase. That's not a lot of money for Berry to move off from, so that could make the decision easier. The Browns signed veteran Quinton Jefferson to a $4 million deal and drafted Michael Hall Jr. in the second round. Dalvin Tomlinson and Shelby Harris both return after productive 2023 seasons.

Andrew Berry loves to give one-year prove-it deals and it paid off greatly with the signing of Hurst last season. In 2021, Hurst played in just two games before going down for the season with an injury and then in 2022, he missed the entire season. That was not the (full) case in Cleveland.

In 13 games, Hurst compiled 1.5 sacks, 18 pressures, 22 tackles (12 solo, four for a loss), three pass deflections, a fumble recovery, and an interception, which he returned 55 yards. Unfortunately, Hurst was lost for the final four regular season games and the playoff beatdown against the Texans with a torn pec. He wanted to play in Houston but ultimately was not able to do so. Will that be enough to be brought back in 2024? Randy Gurzi of DPD thinks he will make the 53-man roster.

There are guys that Hurst is ahead of on the depth chart and this list highlights one of those players. Fans always attach themselves to certain players and dislike when the team decides to move off of them, and Hurst certainly has the fan's support, as they cheer when he rubs his big belly after making a play. They would not be happy should Hurst be cut or traded, but that is a good problem for the Browns. That means they have several guys on the roster competing and in the NFL, it's all about decisions that only better a team's chances to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in February.

Hopefully, Hurst will make his way back to the lineup and rub that belly even more so than he did in 2023. On the chance he does not return, he will be cherished by the Dawg Pound faithful forever.

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