In a slew of roster moves made Tuesday, the Browns broke out in a safety dance, signing rookie sixth-round draft pick Jamoris Slaughter to a four-year contract and waiving 2011 seventh-round selection Eric Hagg.
The Browns also signed two undrafted free agents, former University of Texas-El Paso wide receiver Michael Edwards and former Missouri safety Kenronte Walker, and claimed undrafted rookie running back Miguel Maysonet, a former Stony Brook standout, off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles, who cut him Monday.
The Browns formally announced they re-signed running back Brandon Jackson to a one-year contract. Jackson’s deal was first reported last week.
To make room on their 90-man roster, the Browns waived Hagg, linebacker Ryan Rau and undrafted rookie running backs Robbie Rouse and Jamaine Cook, a product of Midpark High School and Youngstown State University.
Hagg started the first two games at free safety this past season before being demoted. He also started the final two games after T.J. Ward, Tashaun Gipson and Usama Young suffered injuries.
The Browns have inserted Gipson into the top slot on their depth chart at free safety, giving him the reps with the first-team defense during organized team activities, which resumed Tuesday and run through Thursday, the only day this week reporters are invited. Ward, meanwhile, is locked in as the starting strong safety.
The release of Hagg indicates that the Browns believe their expectations for Slaughter to be healthy by training camp are on target. Slaughter, who played for Notre Dame, suffered a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon Sept. 15 against Michigan State, had surgery and sat out the rest of last season. Slaughter and Johnson Bademosi, who’s switching from cornerback to free safety in his second NFL season, are expected to compete with Gipson, the front-runner to secure the starting free safety job.
Slaughter is the first of the Browns’ five 2013 draft picks to finalize his rookie contract. Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (first round), cornerback Leon McFadden (third round), defensive end Armonty Bryant (seventh round) and offensive lineman Garrett Gilkey (seventh round) have yet to sign.
Hagg started four of the 12 games in which he appeared last season and tallied 22 tackles and a pass defensed. As a rookie in 2011, he played 10 games and compiled 10 tackles, a pass defensed and a fumble recovery.
Former Boise State inside linebacker Tommy Smith signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent, KLASS Sports, the agency that represents Smith, told the Beacon Journal. The Browns, though, have yet to make the move official.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Browns blog at http://www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/browns.abj.