Browns make surprising moves in first wave of final roster cuts

According to various reports the Cleveland Browns have released running backs Dion Lewis and Chris Ogbonnaya and veteran wide receiver Nate Burleson in their first wave of roster cuts.

The release of Nate Burleson would indicate the Browns have plans to go outside their current roster for at least one receiver.

Ken Blaze / USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns have released running backs Dion Lewis and Chris Ogbonnaya and veteran wide receiver Nate Burleson in their first wave of roster cuts.

Teams leaguewide have to cut down to the regular-season roster size of 53 by Saturday afternoon. It figures to be a busy weekend for the Browns with hundreds of players hitting the waiver wire and the team looking to upgrade at least a few different spots, starting with wide receiver.

The release of Burleson, who missed much of camp and the preseason with injuries, would indicate the Browns have plans to go outside their current roster for at least one receiver.

Cutting ties with Lewis and Ogbonnaya would indicate the Browns are going young in the backfield with undrafted rookie Isaiah Crowell joining Ben Tate and third-round pick Terrance West on the roster. Rookie fullback Ray Agnew tweeted Saturday that he made the team.

The final roster is generally a work in progress, though, as teams work the phones and scan other teams' cuts over the long weekend -- the second busiest weekend of the year for personnel staffs behind the draft weekend.

Young players who get waived are subject to the league's waiver claim process; after 24 hours, interested teams can place a claim and those claims are awarded based on the waiver order. Players with more than four years experience are considered vested veterans, so at least through midseason, they are not subject to the waiver process.

The waiver order remains the same it's been since the end of last season, from worst to strongest based on 2013 record, just like the draft. Teams can begin building their 10-man practice squads Sunday, when the first wave of waiver claims are generally processed.

Some teams did, but the Browns made no formal moves on Friday. On a conference call, Browns coach Mike Pettine declined to discuss specifics about players or position groups when it comes to the final roster.

"Those are all things we're debating now," Pettine said Friday afternoon. "That will take us some time to get through."

Teams cut from 90 players to 75 last week before the final preseason game. The Browns also got official word last week that star wide receiver Josh Gordon is suspended for the season.