The Browns’ draft class of 2016 is rapidly shrinking.
As he continues to revamp Cleveland’s roster, general manager John Dorsey released safety Derrick Kindred and wide receiver Ricardo Louis, two more former draft picks who did not pan out.
On Monday, the first day of the Browns’ offseason program, the team also re-signed wide receiver Rashard Higgins (restricted free agent) defensive back Juston Burris (free agent), defensive tackle Trevon Coley (exclusive rights free agent) and Jermaine Whitehead (exclusive rights free agent).
Kindred and Louis were both selected in 2016 by Cleveland’s previous front office, which drafted 14 players that year. Only four remain, and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah could be on his way out via trade. He did not report to the team’s facility Monday.
Dorsey has spent the past year and more fixing a roster that produced just one win over two seasons. But the Browns went 7-8-1 last season and expectations are soaring following the team’s acquisition of star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in a trade last month.
A fourth-round pick, Kindred had been expected to start after the Browns traded Jabrill Peppers to the Giants as part of the deal for Beckham. Now the Browns are in the market for a safety and could land one in another trade or in the upcoming draft.
Dorsey last week said he had been in contact with the agents for veteran free agents Eric Berry and Tre Boston.
The Browns were pleased with Higgins’ development last season and feel he gives them depth at a key position. He had 39 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns in 2018.
Coley has been a solid contributor over the last two seasons, starting 29 games.
Burris appeared in four games for Cleveland last season after being signed off the New York Jets’ practice squad. Whitehead played on special teams in his seven games with Cleveland in 2018.