Thursday apparently made Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little expendable on Friday because the Cleveland Browns released the veteran wide receiver they drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft with the 59th overall pick, the team confirmed.
The Browns took steps to shore up their receiving corps Thursday when they signed former Dallas Cowboys star Miles Austin and Earl Bennett formerly of the Chicago Bears.
Despite the fact that the team doesn't yet know what will happen to wideout Josh Gordon regarding possibly being banned for the season for violation of the league's substance abuse policy, the moves along with the earlier addition of Nate Burleson and the signing of four undrafted free agents at the position earlier this week sealed Little’s fate.
Little represents a case in what could have been, having never reached his potential with the Browns.
“The young man's talented,” general manager Ray Farmer said on the second day of last Friday’s NFL Draft. “The question mark would then fall onto can he be consistent and do the things that he has physically demonstrated he can do at times. If he continues to do those things and add a level of consistency, the difference between being good and great is consistency. That's really the difference.”
But the 6-foot-2, 215-pound receiver out of North Carolina never showed that consistency. In three seasons with the Browns he caught 155 passes for 1,821 yards and eight touchdowns. As a blocker, he hit ferociously and occasionally showed flashes as a receiver, but always showed a flair for dropping catchable passes.
“When a guy shows you he can do anything, he shows you he can jump up and make the one-handed catch, he shows you he can break a tackle, the question then is can he repeatedly do that over and over again,” Farmer said. “That's the difference between being average or marginal, and good or great.”
With this move the Browns placed Little in the marginal category. But some other team may see his potential and youth - he's only 24 - and take a chance on him and claim him off waivers.
He would be a bargain this season with a base salary of $753, 750 for the upcoming season along with $75,000 workout bonus.