Drew Forbes

Browns Release WR Antonio Callaway

The Browns have released wide receiver Antonio Callaway, per a club announcement. Meanwhile, Callaway is facing, and appealing, a ten-game suspension for another violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, sources tell NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). While that’s a major factor in the team’s decision to cut him, Rapoport hears that it is not the only reason the team waived him.

The Browns drafted Callaway in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, opting to roll the dice on an extremely talented player who had multiple red flags off the field. At times, that talent has shown. Last year, he clicked with Baker Mayfield and finished out with 43 catches for 586 yards and five touchdowns. This year, however, his off-the-field problems reappeared – the NFL suspended Callaway for the first four games of the year after violating the substance abuse policy and he’s now looking at an additional ten-game ban.

The Browns benched Callaway against the Bills on Sunday for reasons that head coach Freddie Kitchens did not disclose. Days later, Callaway is out of a job. Per league rules, he’ll hit the waiver wire as a post-trade deadline cut. In his four games this year, Callaway registered eight catches off of 15 targets for 89 yards and zero TDs.

In a related move, the Browns have activated offensive lineman Drew Forbes. Forbes, a sixth-round pick, is now set to debut after recovering from a knee injury suffered late in the offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the RavensBengalsBrowns, and Steelers are noted below.

Additionally, as of today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

* = International Pathway Program player

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Steelers, Browns

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters last week that slot cornerback Tavon Young could miss the 2019 season after suffering a serious neck injury, but the club hasn’t been given an update on the status of the 25-year-old defensive back. “Nothing definitive,” Harbaugh said, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (Twitter link). “It’s in the opinions of the doctors. I’m sure there are different ways of looking at it, so they’ll probably see how it goes in the next week or two or three, and see what the progress is.” If Young is sidelined for the upcoming campaign, Baltimore will likely deploy Brandon Carr in the slot, while Cyrus Jones is also a candidate to see work inside.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • John Ross will finally make his 2019 practice debut early next week, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor told reporters, including Ben Baby of ESPN.com (Twitter link). A hamstring injury has forced Ross to sit out of practice sessions thus far, but if the former ninth overall pick gets in two weeks of work, Taylor believes he’ll be ready for the season opener against the Seahawks. Cincinnati will already be without A.J. Green for the first few weeks of the season after the veteran pass-catcher suffered an ankle injury in July, so getting Ross on the field would be a boon to the club’s offense. Ross, 24, posted only 21 receptions a year ago but did haul in seven touchdowns.
  • More from Cincinnati, where receiver depth isn’t the only roster issue: Cordy Glenn has been diagnosed with a concussion, meaning the left tackle may not be ready for Week 1, tweets Jay Morrison of The Athletic. As a result, the Bengals — who have already lost rookie left tackle Jonah Williams (shoulder injury) and left guard Clint Boling (retirement), may be forced to use Andre Smith as Andy Dalton‘s blindside protector, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Smith, now in his fourth stint with the Bengals, does have some experience at left tackle, but the overwhelming majority of his NFL time has been spent on the right side.
  • Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton has posted a “tremendous” preseason and could have a significant role on Pittsburgh’s defense, according to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. Sutton has played so well that he could potentially overtake Mike Hilton as the team’s slot corner. At worst, Sutton is likely to serve as the Steelers’ third outside corner behind Joe Haden and Steven Nelson and play as a dime linebacker in six-defensive back looks. Sutton, a third-round pick out of Tennessee in 2017, played 113 defensive snaps during his rookie campaign and 240 last season.
  • The Browns now have three candidates to replace Kevin Zeitler at right guard, as Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com writes. Veteran Eric Kush was thought to be leading the competition against 2018 second-round pick Austin Corbett, but rookie sixth-rounder Drew Forbes has also entered the mix. Per head coach Freddie Kitchens, the battle is still wide open. Corbett, though, hasn’t practiced at right guard in weeks, and is instead working as Cleveland’s backup center.

Browns Sign 5 Draft Picks

The Browns are wasting little time in getting their rookies on board. On Friday, the Browns inked five of their seven draft picks, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal and Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Here’s the rundown: 

Wilson, taken with the No. 155 overall pick, says he’s on a mission to prove that he is the best linebacker in the entire 2019 draft class.

That chip is going to always be on my shoulder,” said Wilson, who anticipated being drafted no later than the third round. “I’m going to always think about it. I feel like I have to prove people wrong, but I just want to show that in this draft, I was the best linebacker. There were 31 teams that slipped up on me, and somebody is going to have to feel all the pain that I built up these past few days.

After registering 113 total tackles and six interceptions across 33 games at Alabama, Wilson has a right to be disappointed in his draft slot. Of course, that won’t matter much in the long run if he can prove himself at the pro level.

With those five under contract, the Browns have only two stragglers to go: LSU cornerback Greedy Williams (second round) and BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki (third round).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.