Savage Wants Roster to "Stabilize"

Despite the team's acquisition of J'Warren Blair, fans shouldn't expect much in the way of roster moves between now and training camp. After turning over most of the roster in the last two years, the Browns are looking for a few moments of calm...

Unless a superstar defensive end is unexpectedly released over the next two weeks or so, don't expect the Browns to be active in what is loosely termed the second season of free agency.

General Manager Phil Savage believes no players released post-June 1 will be able to help the Browns, who over the last two years have revamped 80 percent of the offensive line and most of the linebacking corps without adding players released in June. Savage will keep his eye on the waiver wire, but basically speaking the training camp roster is set.

"We're not anticipating anything of note," Savage said. "We've had so many changes with our roster. We've basically turned the thing over in the last 16 months. I kind of feel it's time for us to stabilize a little bit and let's go forward with what we have.

"Our front office and coaching staff has had some continuity for over a year, but our team hasn't, so I think it's important to take that step. This is the core group of players we're going to have the next few years."

Eight free agents were signed in the offseason and 10 players were drafted. Twenty-three players on the roster for the season opener last year were different from the roster for the final game of 2004.

Likewise, the Browns are not likely to release any players to ease a salary cap burden for this year by pushing dead money into 2007. Savage put the Browns in good salary cap shape for the near future last season by trading Gerard Warren and releasing Courtney Brown.

There had been speculation the Browns would release running back Lee Suggs in June, but that is very unlikely. Though Suggs has a long history of injuries he has proven he is a capable running back when healthy. He had three straight 100 yard games at the end of the 2004 season.

The uncertainty of the future of Reuben Droughns, who faces domestic violence charges in Colorado, also makes releasing a running back now a risky move. With Suggs, William Green, Jason Wright and rookie Jerome Harrison, Savage believes the Browns have enough insurance in case Droughns is suspended.

The OBR Top Stories