The Browns won’t announce their final cuts until later today, but word has begun to leak regarding some of the moves.
This post will be updated throughout the day.
** Receiver David Nelson was released, according to multiple reports.
** Rookie linebacker Justin Staples will be cut, per the Baltimore Sun.
** Outside linebacker Justin Cole will be waived, NFL insider Adam Caplan tweeted.
** Rookie safety Jamoris Slaughter was cut, nfl.com.
Cutting Nelson is a mild surprise. He signed a one-year contract as a free agent in April, but was unable to get back to 100 percent following a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in last year’s opener.
He spent much of the offseason rehabbing away from the Browns, then suffered a bone bruise early in camp in the surgically repaired right knee. He returned to practice Aug. 18 and played Thursday night in the preseason finale.
He caught four passes, but had a drop, slipped twice and was limited by cramps.
His release leaves the Browns thin at receiver, especially with No. 1 wideout Josh Gordon facing a two-game suspension to start the year. Greg Little, Davone Bess and Travis Benjamin are the only certainties to make the roster. Slot receiver Josh Cooper appears next in line.
Nelson (6-foot-5, 215 pounds) also has size the Browns will miss. Bess, Benjamin and Cooper are 5-10 or shorter.
Slaughter was a sixth-round pick out of Notre Dame. He missed the offseason as he recovered from a torn Achilles, then missed significant time in the preseason with muscle strains in his leg.
Cutting Slaughter weakens an already weak class from the first draft of CEO Joe Banner and general manager Michael Lombardi. They traded two picks for selections in 2014 and made only five picks. None is expected to start Week 1.
The release of Cole could be a sign that rookie Barkevious Mingo won’t miss much time with a bruised lung. Paul Kruger, Jabaal Sheard, Mingo and Quentin Groves were ahead of Cole on the depth chart.
Staples is a St. Edward graduate and had an interception in the preseason opener.