- activated CB Joe Haden from physically unable to perform list
- waived DL Kyle Rose
- signed DL Chigbo Anunoby.
Who they are
Haden, the Browns’ highest-paid defensive player, vowed to return to his starting CB position by opening day after having ankle surgery in March. The seventh-overall pick of the 2010 has made the Pro Bowl twice, but is coming off a disappointing 2015 season. His $10.1 million salary is fully guaranteed.
Rose, a Centerville, Ohio, native, is a rookie free agent out of West Virginia who was recently bothered by a hamstring injury.
Anunoby was apparently the next available lineman on the waiting list. He must be familiar to player personnel VP Andrew Berry, as he joined the league as a UDFA signing by Indianapolis in 2011. He was also in training camp with the 2014 Titans under defensive coordinator Ray Horton. He seems to fit the new regime’s preference for intelligence, as he plans to attend med school after football.
What do these moves mean for the Browns?
Obviously, Haden’s return to action is a welcome development, as the defense needs him to return to the form that had him ranked as the 23rd best player in the NFL as recently as 2015. The sooner he can practice his way back into game shape and become a fixture in an otherwise vulnerable Browns secondary, the better off this team will be.
As for the D-line moves, they continue the practice of parting with marginal players whose injuries prevent them from proving they can help this team this year. The more replacement-level players they bring in, the higher the chances of finding a good fit. There is room for a big anchor at defensive tackle behind Danny Shelton and Jamie Meder. UDFA rookie Nile Lawrence-Stample hasn’t yet made the impact many were anticipating, so maybe the massive 27-year-old Anunoby can.
Reminder: All changes to the Browns roster are shown in the ever-updated spreadsheet here. It contains more data fields than any other Browns roster page anywhere on the web.