The Cleveland Browns‘ 53-man roster has been set, at least for now.
This week’s changes provided some surprises that we have not quite gotten over just yet.
There must be a method to the madness, but in the meantime, let’s recap the three most surprising roster moves of the week.
1. Keeping Anthony Schwartz
Even though Coach Stefanski told the media that wide receiver Anthony Schwartz was not in danger of being cut after a very subpar preseason, we still cannot get over the shock of this.
Kevin Stefanski just told reporters Anthony Schwartz is NOT in jeopardy of being cut. #Browns
— Noah Weiskopf (@BrownsWithNoah) August 28, 2022
Anthony Schwartz has put up one of the all time bad preseasons I’ve seen in my life
— Quincy Carrier (@Kwen_C) August 28, 2022
Schwartz has failed to step up and be reliable for any of the Browns quarterbacks.
What I don’t understand is, instead of addressing the need for help at WR the #Browns instead give all that work and time to Anthony Schwartz who’s done nothing to show he was worthy of the opportunity except fall down and drop passes.
— Matty 🧊 (@MattyIce7378) August 28, 2022
The Browns are thin with experience and in numbers in the wide receiving room.
Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, David Bell, Michael Woods II, and Schwartz are the five WRs on the roster.
Of those five, only DPJ and Schwartz were on the roster last year.
The argument for a new look in the wide receiving room after 2021 was a valid one, but the question is whether Schwartz should have been one of the holdovers.
2. Cutting Johnny Stanton
Johnny Stanton has been a Browns fullback for the past two seasons.
— Johnny Stanton (@johnnystantoniv) June 15, 2022
He was able to block, run, and catch the ball and scored one of the two Browns touchdowns by a fullback in 2021; the other was by former Browns FB and current free agent Andy Janovich.
WE GOT A FULLBACK TOUCHDOWN! @AndyJanovich #Browns
📺: #HOUvsCLE on CBS
📱: NFL app pic.twitter.com/ozN08og4Kw
— NFL (@NFL) September 19, 2021
FULLBACK TD 🔥
Johnny Stanton IV for 6️⃣pic.twitter.com/ZDug9WCmCu
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) October 22, 2021
Given the wide receiving situation and the fact that the Browns only have two tight ends on the roster (David Njoku and Harrison Bryant), it is shocking that the team let Stanton go when he could be a utility player that could be plugged in many spots.
3. Cutting Blake Hance
Like Stanton, Blake Hance has been with the Browns for the past two seasons.
He is an offensive lineman who played center in situations when the Browns needed him to do so.
That’s what makes the Browns’ decision to cut Hance a surprise.
With Nick Harris out for the season, the Browns would seem to be interested in having backup center players on the roster.
Ethan Pocic is apparently the guy.
Some thought that Hance would be back with the Browns on the practice squad because that’s where it all began for him.
My current understanding is former #Browns OL Blake Hance was claimed. 4 teams tried to claim him.
— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) August 31, 2022
49ers newest OL Blake Hance already knows one of the Bosa brothers 👀
🎥 @Bradley_Locker pic.twitter.com/1JXvO1CCoq
— Brad (@Graham_SFN) August 31, 2022
That was not the case as the San Francisco 49ers scooped him up quickly off the waiver wire.
Honorable Mention: The Quarterback Moves
There is a valid argument that the quarterback roster moves within the past week should have made this list.
Cutting Josh Rosen to re-sign him to the practice squad and picking up Kellen Mond after the Vikings released him are head-scratching moves especially when you consider the plethora of quarterbacks the Browns have on the roster.
#Browns have more quarterbacks on their roster right now than tight ends. 🤯
— Noah Weiskopf (@BrownsWithNoah) September 1, 2022
The bottom line is that this roster will be fine-tuned over the next nine days so there could be more surprises in store.
It is the 2022 Browns; anything is possible.
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