Barely two years after becoming a surprise first-round pick, Alex Leatherwood has been waived by two teams. The Bears joined the Raiders in bailing on the Alabama alum, dropping him earlier this week.
The Browns will attempt to salvage the former No. 17 overall pick. Leatherwood is joining Cleveland’s practice squad, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets. This will be Leatherwood’s third team in three seasons, though he is no longer attached to the first-round contract that went from Las Vegas to Chicago.
Despite his extensive struggles to translate his game to the NFL, Leatherwood started all 17 games — at right tackle and right guard — for a playoff-bound Raiders team as a rookie. After Jon Gruden’s staff moved Leatherwood from tackle to guard quickly, Josh McDaniels’ group shifted him back to tackle during his second NFL offseason. Leatherwood did not show enough to impress the McDaniels-Dave Ziegler regime, which waived him after failed trade efforts.
A mononucleosis bout began Leatherwood’s Bears tenure on a down note, and he only ended up playing in four games (32 offensive snaps). The Browns have a set offensive line, one of the game’s best, and employ top-line O-line coach Bill Callahan. The former Raiders HC has settled back into a role as an O-line instructor. Callahan turned down the chance to interview for the Jets’ OC position this offseason, and the longtime assistant will attempt what could be a difficult reclamation project with Leatherwood.