CLEVELAND – It was a move that was speculated at the start of camp could come, but not many predicted it would come this soon.
The Browns announced their first cuts today, and with it the team announced that former first-round pick DT Phil Taylor has been released.
“Just given the depth that we had in that room, we knew we were going to have to make some difficult choices,” head coach Mike Pettine said.
“I think you can group Kitch (DL Ishmaa’ily Kitchen) in along with Phil. When we were wherever Phil was and kind of in his state of rehab, he was well on his way to being back but just given the current circumstances of us needing to trim the roster down and where he was and how we felt about the room, we just felt it was the right decision for all involved.”
Taylor was the teams first round pick back in 2011, playing four seasons with the Browns. He was due a guaranteed $5.477 million this season. Pettine talked about if the release was a fiscal decision Tuesday afternoon in Berea.
“It’s something that we’re obviously very well aware of, but did not factor that in,” Pettine said.
“When we talk about the roster, the contractual stuff to me is a secondary thing. You want to say with the 75 we want to move and then to the 53, I don’t think it’s very prudent to let the contractual stuff, especially given where we are financially. I don’t think you want that to be a factor in it.”
The big man missed just about all of the offseason OTA’s as he was recovering from knee surgery.
He was part of the draft where the Browns had the number six pick, but moved down with the Atlanta Falcons, who took wide out Julio Jones, who just over the weekend inked a new five-year deal.
Taylor, receiver Greg Little, fullback Owen Marecic and quarterback Brandon Weeden eventually were the picks the Browns made with the picks acquired in the deal.