General manager John Dorsey’s roster reconstruction continues with the removal of pieces he inherited from former head of football operations Sashi Brown.
As the Browns began their offseason program Monday morning under new coach Freddie Kitchens, Dorsey waived strong safety Derrick Kindred, receiver Ricardo Louis and cornerback Howard Wilson.
He also re-signed receiver Rashard Higgins (a restricted free agent), defensive back Juston Burris (free agent), defensive tackle Trevon Coley and defensive back Jermaine Whitehead (exclusive rights free agents).
The Browns had placed the original-round (fifth) tender on Higgins, allowing him to negotiate with other teams. Higgins had 39 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns last year. For his career, he has 72 catches for 961 yards and six touchdowns.
In other news, defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah reportedly didn’t report to the voluntary session because he expects to be traded.
The need at strong safety grows with the release of Kindred, a fourth-round pick in 2016. He was penciled in to start following the trade of Jabrill Peppers on March 13. But Dorsey said last week at the league meetings that Kindred didn’t play well last season and then decided to move on.
Dorsey said he’d been in contact with the agents for veteran free agents Eric Berry and Tre Boston, possibilities to fill the void.
Louis, another fourth-round pick of Brown in 2016, missed all of last season following offseason neck surgery. He’s big, strong and fast, but the traits didn’t translate to production. In two years he started 12 of 32 games, catching 45 passes for 562 yards and zero touchdowns.
Ogbah, a second-round pick in 2016, became expendable when the Browns traded for Olivier Vernon — along with receiver Odell Beckham Jr. — last month. Ogbah has started 40 of 40 games with 122 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 17 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
ESPN reported Ogbah didn’t report in anticipation of being traded in the near future, citing a source.
If he’s traded, only three players would remain from the 14-person draft class of 2016 — middle linebacker Joe Schobert (fourth round), tight end Seth DeValve (fourth round) and receiver Rashard Higgins (fifth round).
Kindred started 17 of 42 games in three years, totaling 137 tackles, two interceptions, 12 passes defensed and a forced fumble. He started two of 16 games last year with 38 tackles, an interception, a pass defensed and a forced fumble as he rotated with Peppers.
Kindred was strong against the run but struggled in coverage.
Peppers, the No. 29 pick in 2017, was traded to the Giants in the blockbuster deal that brought Beckham and Vernon.
Coley has started 29 games over the past two seasons, totaling 80 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a safety.
Burris appeared in four games with the Browns last season after being signed off the Jets’ practice squad. He has appeared in 38 career games with two starts.
Whitehead played on special teams in his seven games with Cleveland last year.
Wilson was a fourth-round pick in 2017 and missed the past two seasons with knee injuries.