Saturday’s final roster cuts left the Browns without a kicker as they terminated the contract of Shayne Graham and released Brandon Bogotay.
“We gauged all the practices, the preseason games and weren’t completely satisfied,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. “From a (roster) timing standpoint, keeping some other guys and being flexible in that way we felt was the best move at this particular time.”
But he also stressed that the roster will be fluid over the next few days as the Browns prepare for the Sept. 8 opener at home against the Miami Dolphins.
“This is our Aug. 31 roster, not necessarily our Sept. 8 roster,” he said.
Coach Rob Chudzinski said the Browns haven’t closed the door on the kickers they had previously.
“We have some possibilities, we may work some guys out in the next few days. We’ll have a kicker within the next few days. I’m not concerned.”
Asked about veterans who could be signed, Chudzinski said, “There’s a number of veterans out there. We may work some of those guys out.”
Chudzinski said it wasn’t unsettling to still be searching for the replacement for Phil Dawson, who had been with the Browns since 1999. Dawson was let go in free agency and signed with the San Francisco 49ers.
“It’s not. In places I’ve been before we’ve had different courses throughout the course of the season. It’s probably the one position where a guy can come in. It’s unique in that way. There’s not a lot of interaction with teammates and getting to learn systems. It’s pretty much an individualized skill. I’m not concerned about it. Between the pool that’s there and the guys that have been here, we’ll find the guy that we need.”
Chudzinski ruled out the possibility that punter Spencer Lanning, who kicked Thursday night in the preseason finale at Chicago, would handle both jobs. Graham, a 13-year veteran who spent seven seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and 2012 in with the Houston Texans, felt tightness in his back during pregame warm-ups and was held out.
“No, although he did a nice job the other night. It’s good to know he’s a possible backup, but I would not expect that,” Chudzinski said.
To reach the 53-man roster limit, the Browns also put receiver Josh Gordon on the reserve/suspended list. He will miss the first two games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Thirteen players were waived. The only draft choices were linebacker James-Michael Johnson, a fourth round pick in 2012, and defensive back Jamoris Slaughter, a sixth-round pick from Notre Dame. Slaughter’s departure left the Browns with four players from the 2013 draft. Their first-round pick, outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, has been sidelined with a bruised lung. Besides Mingo, those from the Class of 2013 who survived Saturday were cornerback Leon McFadden (third round, San Diego State), defensive lineman Armonty Bryant (seventh round, East Central Oklahoma) and offensive lineman Garrett Gilkey (seventh round, Chadron State).
Also cut were offensive lineman Aaron Adams, receivers David Nelson, Naaman Roosevelt and Tori Gurley, defensive back Akeem Auguste, linebackers Justin Staples and Justin Cole, defensive linemen Brian Sanford and Hall Davis and running back Jamaine Cook.
The Browns can sign eight players to the practice squad after noon Sunday.