The Cleveland Browns continue to make fringe personnel moves as the regular season approaches, the most recent of which involved a reunion with one of their former defensive backs.
Cleveland cut ties with cornerback A.J. Green III as it whittled down the roster to 53 men in late August. On Friday, September 1, the Browns brought Green back as a member of the practice squad.
“The Browns have signed CB A.J. Green III to the practice squad,” according to the team’s official website. “Green was originally signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and has appeared in 31 career games with two starts with the team.”
Browns Made Significant Additions to CB Room Over Last 2 Offseasons
GettyCornerbacks Martin Emerson Jr. (left) and A.J. Green (right) of the Cleveland Browns.
Green is back where he started his career three years ago as a member of Cleveland’s practice squad. While the cornerback has primarily been used as a special teams player, he’s also made significant contributions to the defense over the past two seasons.
According to Pro Football Reference, Green played 141 defensive snaps in 2022 compared to 221 snaps on special teams. He appeared in all 17 of the team’s regular season games. Green saw 176 defensive snaps across 12 appearances in 2021 as well as 189 snaps on special teams.
For his career, Green has amassed 39 tackles, seven pass breakups, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Despite contributing meaningfully to the team for two years, Green’s demotion makes some sense considering the number of recent additions to the position. The Browns waived Green on Wednesday to clear a roster spot for cornerback Kahlef Hailassie, an undrafted rookie free agent in 2023 who was initially signed by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Cleveland also drafted rookie cornerback Cameron Mitchell out of Northwestern in the fifth-round. He joins a group that includes second-year DB Martin Emerson Jr., a breakout player during his rookie campaign in 2022 who figures to factor heavily into the Browns’ defense this season.
Several Prominent Preseason Performers Land on Browns’ Practice Squad
GettyWide receiver Austin Watkins Jr. of the Cleveland Browns scores a touchdown during an NFL preseason game against the New York Jets in August 2023.
Now on the practice squad, at least for the time being, Green joins a handful of other players who were solid prospects to make the Browns’ 53-man roster during the month of August.
Perhaps chief among those players is offensive lineman Michael Dunn, who has played a significant role behind the team’s two Pro-Bowl guards over the last three years as a regular roster member. Wide receiver Austin Watkins Jr. is also at the top of that list after he missed out on the initial 53-man squad due to the healthy return of the long-absent Marquise Goodwin.
Wideout/return man Jaelon Darden was also positioned to make a run at the roster before an injury and the rise of Watkins’ stock derailed those efforts last month. Defensive end Isaiah Thomas is also a member of the practice squad after undergoing knee surgery this preseason.
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