Browns Cut Roster: Tre, Dudley Gone

UPDATED 8PM: Team Press Released Added<BR>The Browns made some surprising cuts to start paring their roster to 53 by 4PM Sunday. Tre Johnson and Rickey Dudley are among the surprise dismissals.

According to the Associated Press, the Cleveland Browns have released OG Tre Johnson and TE Ricky Dudley. Other players cut are DL Arnold Miller and DB Calvin Spears. Also moved to the IR are Cecil Caldwell (knee), Chris Eitzmann (shoulder), and Earthwind Moreland (groin). Michael Smith has also been moved to the injured reserved list.

Here is the press release from the Browns:

AUGUST 31, 2002


The Cleveland Browns today acquired tight end Steve Heiden from the San Diego Chargers for the Browns 7th round draft choice in the 2003 NFL draft.

The Chargers also have the option of switching 6th round draft choices with the Browns in 2003.

Heiden (full bio on page 2) was drafted by San Diego in the 3rd round of the 1999 draft and is in his fourth season. His career totals include 42 games with 13 starts and 14 receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns. He had his best season in 2001, appearing in all 16 games with 10 starts and totaling eight receptions for 55 yards and one touchdown.

The Browns also announced the following moves:

TE-Rickey Dudley released.
OG-Tre Johnson released.
FB-Kevin McLeod released.
DE-Arnold Miller released.
DB-Calvin Spears released.
DL-Cecil Caldwell placed on reserve-injured (knee).
TE-Chris Eitzmann placed on reserve-injured (shoulder).
DB-Earthwind Moreland placed on reserve-injured (groin).
LB-Michael Smith placed on reserve-injured (hand).


"We are very excited about the trade for Steve Heiden, because I really like his experience and versatility," Head Coach Butch Davis said. "He is young, can play tight end and H-Back, and can also serve as a lead blocker, backup deep snapper and special teamer. I really like the combination of what we now have at the tight end and H-Back position. Mark Campbell had a very good preseason with some big catches. Darnell Sanders has made great strides and continues to progress. Aaron Shea gives us great versatility.

All four of them have four important things in common: they are versatile, young, improving and will contribute on special teams. Rickey Dudley got caught in a numbers game, because he does not have all four of these qualities. The only way for him to make the team would be as a starter, and we did not feel his performance merited a starting role. At this time, releasing Tre Johnson was in the best interests of our football team. The versatility of many of our offensive lineman essentially resulted in him getting caught in a numbers game. It is always a juggling act when determining how many players to keep at each position, and offensive line is one of the toughest."

The Browns roster is now at 63. The club must be at 53 by 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 1.


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