On the surface, it looks like there is another “Andrew Berry Special” available via waivers on Monday.
Jerry Tillery is a former first-round draft pick who fell short of expectations with his first team.
And he happens to be a defensive lineman, a position the Cleveland Browns could use a little help with.
Cleveland’s disappointing record so far puts them in a good position in the waiver order.
#Chargers have waived former first-round DT Jerry Tillery.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 11, 2022
But like anything when it comes to roster decisions, things aren’t as cut and dry as they appear.
Tillery’s midseason release from the Los Angeles Chargers is suspicious enough on its own merits.
Coming as it did in the same week Los Angeles lost a starting tackle to injury is a big red flag.
And their previous decision not to pick up Tillery’s 5th-year-option warrants further consideration.
Lots of Question Marks To Wade Through
Los Angeles drafted Tillery out of Notre Dame as the 28th overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.
He played sparingly as a rookie in the interior line before bumping outside on the Chargers’ 3-man line for the 2021-21 seasons.
Tillery contributed 7.5 sacks, along with 43 quarterback pressures that included 28 quarterback hits over 2 years.
The Chargers declined to pick up his 5th-year option and signed a pair of free-agent linemen this offseason.
#Chargers waived DT Jerry Tillery.
Former first round pick. Hasn’t worked out in LA, but still a surprise release. Has a chance to be a good player still.
— The GOAT House (@GoatHouseNFL) November 11, 2022
Sebastien Joseph-Day took over at nose tackle and Austin Johnson bumped Tillery from his spot opposite Morgan Fox.
Tillery remained part of the line rotation, playing almost half of the defensive snaps over the past few games.
But “philosophical differences” popped up and Tillery’s dissatisfaction reportedly created a locker room distraction.
Head coach Brandon Stanley granted the player a couple of days off before the team announced his release on Thursday.
Would Tillery Be a Fit For The Browns?
Tillery is a solid defensive lineman who could provide another option for Cleveland’s weakest defensive link.
Along with former Atlanta Falcon Tyeler Davison, Tillery could give the Browns a new starting combo for the stretch run.
But for now, he’d at least be part of an extended rotation with Taven Bryan and Jordan Elliott.
That assumes Joe Woods limits Tillery to an interior role versus spelling an edge rusher on occasion.
DL Jerry Tillery will not officially be waived until Friday, which means he cannot be claimed until Monday. Considering that multiple teams expressed interest in trading for him before the deadline, Tillery is expected to be claimed. https://t.co/rdwgatDGg2
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 11, 2022
Playing outside in a 3-4 alignment isn’t nearly the same as a 4-3 edge, but Tillery could get a look ahead of the Browns’ rookies.
Cleveland has gotten flashes from every member of their rotation but could use another veteran with something to prove.
And Tillery’s pending free agency and need to re-establish his reputation could make him a versatile and useful player.
His price tag (about half of his current $2.05 million salary and no future risks) makes him worth a look.