The Browns released veterans Quentin Groves and Larry Grant this morning, shuffling the linebacker position.
The move with Groves came as a bit of a surprise. He signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract as a free agent in 2013 and was voted special teams captain but finished the season on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
He was limited to five games, totaling two sacks, four tackles and a forced fumble after being brought aboard to help the transition to then-coordinator Ray Horton’s 3-4 defense.
The release of Groves, 29, leaves the Browns thin at outside linebacker behind Jabaal Sheard, Barkevious Mingo and Paul Kruger — the threesome expected to get the majority of the playing time in the hybrid 3-4 scheme of coach Mike Pettine and coordinator Jim O’Neil.
Justin Staples, a St. Edward graduate in his second year after being undrafted out of Illinois, and Eric Martin are the other outside linebackers on the roster.
Groves received a citation for soliciting a prostitute and paid a fine last spring after he had signed with the Browns.
Grant, a six-year veteran like Groves, was signed last month after a tryout. The inside linebacker, who was drafted out of Ohio State in 2008, has played in 68 games with St. Louis, San Francisco and Chicago. He was getting reps as a backup.
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