Browns Sign QB Austin Davis; Other Notes

The Cleveland Browns have made it official and signed Austin Davis. They made a corresponding roster move as well as added two more to the Practice Squad (you might be surprised who was not signed) while former player gets tryout elsewhere.

The Cleveland Browns have some concern about Johnny Manziel it seems because the team just signed QB Austin Davis to their 53 man roster. In order to make room for Davis, the Browns placed rookie CB Charles Gaines Jr. on the short term IR, with the ability to return to practice Week 6 and play in Week 8. Teams only get one such designation, which speaks to their appreciation for what Gaines has shown this offseason.

Davis will become a bigger story than likely he should. The Browns provided this information about the former St. Louis Rams QB:

Davis is 6-2, 221-pounds and in his fourth NFL season out of Southern Mississippi. Originally signed by St. Louis as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Davis made his NFL debut last year appearing in 10 games (eight starts) with the Rams. He completed 180 of 284 passes (63.4 percent) for 2,001 yards with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He set USM single-season and career records for passing yards, touchdowns and completion percentage. A native of Collinsville, Miss., Davis graduated from West Lauderdale High School.

Davis is someone who the team had some interest in this offseason for his size and ability to play on the move. He was undrafted for a reason but impressed many with his 8 starts last year. Throwing for 2,000 yards with a 63% completion percentage is solid work for a QB playing in the league for the first time. His 9 INTs to only 12 TDs are concerning but he was asked to dink and dump his way to keep the Rams in games, as his 7.05 average indicates.

For the Browns, signing Davis gives them some insurance in case Manziel is not able to play in Week 1, due to his sore arm. Davis is also someone the team wanted to get a closer look at as a long term player, likely backup, on the team. The way he played last year gives some hope that he could be useful in that role.

Gaines showed very well as a 6th round pick for the Browns in camp. He was in competition with a number of young players for playing time but the Browns see him as a player that can contribute in the middle of the season after his hamstring heals up.

Practice Squad: The Browns finished up their Practice Squad, at least for now, by adding OL Garth Gerhart and bringing back DL Dylan Wynn, who was with the team in camp. Gerhart gives the Browns some depth up the middle as he can play center and guard. He was on the Browns PS in 2012 and is the brother of RB Toby Gerhart of Jacksonville.

Noticeably missing from the team's Practice Squad are WRs Josh Lenz and Vince Mayle. That means the players either decided to sign on someone else's Practice Squad or the Browns didn't want to retain them. In Mayle, either is possible but Lenz likely found a situation where there weren't 7 receivers on the active roster. With the Browns it would have been tough to get promoted so he likely is seeking a different situation.

Wynn Getting Looks: According to Adam Caplan, former Browns camp WR Shane Wynn has had workouts with the Titans and the Jets. The speedy receiver is an intriguing player as a return guy and gadget man out of the slot. Since the Browns play the Jets and Titans in the first two weeks, it is also possible they are trying to dig for information as well.

What do you think about Austin Davis signing with the Browns?


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