Sunday, September 3, 2017

Waivers claims roundup

After the dust cleared on the first round of waivers claims following Saturday’s massive league-wide roster cutdown, the Browns Sunday exchanged a wide receiver, three defensive backs and a defensive lineman for two wide receivers, a cornerback, a nose tackle and a quarterback.

Gone are wideout Rashard Higgins, defensive backs Darius Hillary, Marcus Burley and Kai Nacua and defensive end Tyrone Holmes. Arriving are quarterback Josh Woodrum from Baltimore, wide receivers Reggie Davis (Atlanta) and Kasen Williams (Seattle), nose tackle T. Y. McGill (Indianapolis) and cornerback Michael Jordan (Los Angeles Rams).

That bumps the wide receivers room up to six, reduces the secondary room to eight, maintains the defensive linemen roster at 10 and adds a 24-year-old quarterback to a room where the others are 21, 24 and 24.

In picking up Davis and Williams, the Browns acquired a couple of young receivers who led their respective teams in receptions during the exhibition season. Williams caught nine passes for 208 yards and touchdown. But that was against second and third stringers. Against a starting defense, he caught one ball for four yards.

Williams counts several spectacular receptions among his total, catching the eye of veteran Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who was not exactly thrilled his club waived the kid. Sherman angrily tweeted: There is no explanation for this!

Davis’ eight grabs for 126 yards tied him with two others for the top spot for the Falcons. What probably appealed most about him to the Browns was his 4.22 speed in the 40 and his ability to stretch the field.

Williams and Davis join Kenny Britt, Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis and newcomer Sammie Coates in a room that has not been improved one iota from a quality standpoint with the new additions. The position still remains the weakest on that side of the football.

The Browns had a chance to pick up another productive rookie in Austin Carr, who led the New England Patriots in exhibitions with 14 receptions for 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but passed. He was later claimed by the New Orleans Saints. The sure-handed Carr is considered more of a possession receiver than one who can go deep with any kind of regularity.

Jordan most likely was secured because he played for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams last season with the Los Angeles Rams and is familiar with his schemes and should fit right in. McGill hops aboard most likely as insurance until Danny Shelton returns from his knee injury in a few weeks.

The most intriguing claim is Woodrum, who completed nearly 70% of his 36 passes in the exhibition season for the Ravens as one of the three quarterbacks standing in for the injured Joe Flacco. He threw for 321 yards, a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions.

So why would the Browns be so interested in a young quarterback with no National Football League experience when they already have three young quarterbacks with limited league experience on the roster? Are they trying to peddle Cody Kessler? And if they are unsuccessful, will they cut him now that Woodrum is on board?

Here’s another thought: The Browns play the Ravens in the second game of the season in Baltimore. Woodrum knows a lot of interesting things about that offense. Like tendencies in certain formations; what they like to do in different down situations; who are the the go-to guys in critical moments. Stuff like that.

Now that he’s a member of the Browns, you think the Browns might strongly suggest he share that information? If they don’t, shame on them. If Kessler is still around after the Ravens game, don’t be surprised if Woodrum becomes an ex-Brown.

You can bet Browns defensive coaches are pumping Coates for as much info he can give them on the Steelers for the season opener. You can also bet the Steelers are interrogating Joe Haden in similar fashion.

Anything to get an edge.

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