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Cleveland Browns

Tucker's status murky, Leonard traded

By Marla Ridenour Published: September 1, 2009

The status of offensive lineman Ryan Tucker remained murky Tuesday, when coach Eric Mangini said Tucker was placed on injured reserve.

But Mangini said Tucker may not be sidelined for the season, which led some to believe that the team may be trying to work out an injury settlement with Tucker so it could waive him.

Mangini said there are different types of injured reserve lists that do not mean a player is lost for the season (and must be paid).

An NFL spokesman said once a player is placed on IR, the team has a five-day window to reach an injury settlement. If it can't be reached, he remains on IR and must be paid for the season. If, for example, Tucker receives four game checks as his settlement and the Browns wanted to re-sign him, they would have to wait an additional six weeks after the four paid weeks are up. The six weeks applies only to your own team.

Once he reaches a settlement, he could sign with another team.

NFL teams must cut their rosters to 75 Tuesday and 53 on Saturday.

In another move, defensive lineman Louis Leonard was traded to the Carolina Panthers for an undisclosed draft choice.

Leonard is the second player to be let go after clashing with defensive line coach Bryan Cox in practice. The other was Shaun Smith, who was cut in early August. Leonard had a run-in with Cox on Aug. 20, apparently cursing at Cox and initially refusing to run laps as Cox ordered.

The Panthers general manager Marty Hurney scouting the Browns-Packers preseason game looking for defensive linemen, but it was reported then that Hurney was looking at Corey Williams.

As for Tucker, Mangini said there is a possibility Tucker could be back, although that scenario seems unlikely. Tucker, a 12-year veteran, has not played in a full season since 2005 and reportedly underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday. His career also includes a steroid suspension and a time when he walked away from the team, reportedly with mental issues.

Tucker started only one game in 2008, when he fractured his hip in the spring, then suffered a knee injury.

Asked if Tucker was going to retire, Mangini said, ''We haven't talked about any of those things.''

Asked if he would welcome Tucker back next year, Mangini said, ''I like Ryan a lot, I've enjoyed my experience with him. At this time of year there's diff types of IR, there's different things can happen, we've just got to see how it all plays out.

''There's different ones right now with vested guys, distinctions that you can make, there's injury settlements and designations and things like that that have to be worked out. When it's worked out it could create opportunities, even this season. Where it all falls out, I'm not sure.''

Cornerback Rod Hood, released by the Browns Monday, reached an agreement with the Chicago Bears. The Browns visit the Bears Thursday.


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