Q: Any chance of the Browns getting Austin Carr off waivers?
A: This one’s right in my wheelhouse because Carr is a fellow Northwestern alum. I know the Browns need to upgrade the receiver position, even after trading for Sammie Coates on Saturday. And I saw plenty of Carr in college and feel like he can play in the NFL. He doesn’t have the desired size/speed traits but can be effective in the slot. However, the Browns have their choice of receivers on the waiver wire, so I think they’ll find someone they like better. It would be smart to try to add Carr to the practice squad if no other team claims him.
Q: Do you know if Josh Gordon submitted his reinstatement papers on Sept. 1?
A: The latest report by Bleacher Report said Gordon has gone to rehab again and plans to reapply for reinstatement in late September. The Browns have been noncommittal if they’d be willing to bring him back after being jilted so many times. If they give him another chance, I’d estimate a mid-October return to the field at the earliest.
Q: Will any of the receivers like Jordan Leslie the Browns cut Saturday get placed on the practice squad?
A: Assuming no other team claims him off waivers, I’d expect Rannell Hall to get a spot on the practice squad. He was the best of the group that got cut throughout training camp and the preseason. Leslie would be the second choice. Jordan Payton, a fifth-round pick in 2016, would be another option, but I don’t think he belongs in the NFL.
Q: Besides the O-line and D-line, what’s the position group of greatest strength? The starting linebackers are intriguing, but not much depth.
A: I’m going with running back. Isaiah Crowell is poised for a 1,300-yard season, Duke Johnson is a dual threat and rookie Matthew Dayes looks legit. I still have questions about how good Joe Schobert will be at middle linebacker but love Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey. You’re right about a lack of depth behind them. There’s Dominique Alexander and nothing else.
Q: Why don’t they bring quarterback Colin Kaepernick in for a tryout?
A: Head of football operations Sashi Brown said the decision not to bring in Kaepernick was strictly football-related, but it’s hard to believe his anthem protest and political stance weren’t factors. Coach Hue Jackson was on record as a big fan but has changed his tune. I just can’t imagine owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam wanting to take on the backlash of signing Kaepernick when the Browns are in the midst of a youth movement and don’t expect to win this season.
Q: Why cut offensive lineman John Greco? Don’t get it.
A: I don’t get it, either. The Browns kept 10 offensive linemen and there’s no doubt Greco was among their best 10 — probably No. 6 or 7. Brown said Saturday he expects Greco to find another team, which means he can still play. The aforementioned youth movement is the reason behind so many of the recent moves. The Browns have only three players over 30 years old, so their philosophy is to dump aging players, especially if they’re backups.