About a month ago, Browns General Manager Tom Heckert said there would be turnover on the team's roster. He wasn't bluffing.
The Browns announced Wednesday that they have terminated the contracts of the following six veteran players: linebackers Eric Barton and David Bowens, defensive linemen Kenyon Coleman and Shaun Rogers, tight end Robert Royal and offensive right tackle John St. Clair.
Each player who was cut is older than 30. Three were regular starters this past season -- two on defense and one one offense.
"We have some age on the team, and obviously we have to get younger," Heckert said Jan. 14 during coach Pat Shurmur's introductory news conference. "Pat and I will sit down and once we get everything in place, we will decide which way we are going to go in a lot of positions. There’s going to be some change, there’s no question about it.”
The moves will save the Browns about $18 million in base salaries, according to NFL Players Association records. An additional $1.5 million will be saved in roster bonuses, Fox Sports' Adam Caplan reported.
Barton, 33, Coleman, 31, and St. Clair, 33, were regular starters this past season. Barton had two years left on his contract and was set to make $3.05 million in base salary in 2011. Coleman was in the final year of his contract, which included a base salary of $2.5 million for 2011 and a roster bonus reported to be worth $1 million. St. Clair was also in the final year of his contract with a base salary of $3.225 million for next season.
Bowens, 33, started in four of the 15 games in which he appeared. He and Barton served as defensive captains after lineman Robaire Smith and linebacker Scott Fujita suffered season-ending injuries. Bowens was signed through 2012 and set to make $1.65 million in base salary during 2011.
Rogers, 31, played in 15 games with only one start. He was limited because of ankle and hip injuries and the emergence of nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin. Rogers, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, was signed through 2012 and due to make $5.5 million in base salary in 2011, plus a roster bonus reported to be worth $500,000.
Royal, 31, started in four of the 15 games in which he played. He was signed through 2012 and set to earn $2.045 in base salary next season.