August 15, 2014

NFL News: Cleveland Browns release DE Frostee Rucker

The Cleveland Browns have released veteran defensive end Frostee Rucker.

The Browns signed Rucker, 29, to a 5-year, $20 million deal before the 2012 season. On that contract, $8 million was guaranteed and he had already been paid $5.5 million between his signing bonus and first-year salary. Rucker was due $2 million in a roster bonus had he not been released by Wednesday, February 6. The last three years – covering rougly $12 million — were not guaranteed.

Rucker — once mistaken for a NASCAR driver —  was a 4-3 end with the Cincinnati Bengals before being signed by the Browns; the team’s impending switch to a 3-4 defense coupled with the lack of guaranteed money owed made this move relatively unsurprising.

Rucker, 6-3, 285, was a third round pick out of Southern Cal in 2006. In 2011, he started the final 11 games for the Bengals, making 44 tackles and four sacks. Rucker started all 16 games for the Browns in 2012. He amassed 48 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble.

[Related: Cleveland primer for new athletes in town]

  • mgbode

    Dmitri Patterson gone, Rucker gone.

    Scott Fujita, Sheldon Brown, and Juqua Parker will likely not be heavily pursued in FA.

    Usama Young (1 yr left) and Chris Gocong ($3mil of ’13 contract guaranteed) you are on notice.

    ——————————————

    Outside of Sheldon Brown though, will we really miss anyone? Rucker/Parker did end up combining to be a nice surprise at DE, but we no longer have a 4th DL slot to fill.

    Sign Jammer + Spencer + Philips and I’d say we’d be able to have the incoming talent outweigh the outgoing talent easily.

  • Craig

    Shoot. Liked that guy. Soooo where are the LBs?

  • mgbode

    DQ will likely play Daryl Washington’s ILB role
    JMJ will likely be given a chance to win the other ILB role
    Sheard may be one of the OLB?
    Robertson is the nickel LBer

    I don’t know if any of the other LBers we have will have a role on the team. Certainly up in the air at this point and it needs to be addressed. DaMontre Moore would be a nice way of addressing one spot.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Personally or as a football player? I didn’t see a whole lot towards the latter.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Yuck! Looks to me like between free agency and the draft linebackers should be a high priority.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Add Young and Gocong to the list of names I wouldn’t miss. As soon as Milliner (fingers, eyes, legs crossed) is drafted Brown will be a distant memory.

  • dwhit110

    Jarvis Jones…

  • mgbode

    I would add them but they are already listed :)

  • mgbode

    love his play, hate his stenosis.

  • dwhit110

    I would only want Brown back as a safety anyways, he had quite a bit of coverage issues, gambled too often, etc. CB is a need, but having him back there really didn’t help matters.

  • dwhit110

    True.

  • Jaker

    I like Ziggy Ansah out of BYU. He’s a physical freak and had a very good season. Versatile, but raw. Has great combination of size/speed and production/upside.

    If Moore is gone (likely), and we feel as though Werner isn’t a good fit(might also be gone) and Jarvis Jones is too much of an injury risk, I think the selection comes down to Barkevious Mingo vs Ezekiel Ansah (excellent names). Ansah is my choice.

  • Jaker

    If Brown is back, it’s for depth purposes

  • Jaker

    More cap room. I liked Rucker, and I’m bummed he’s gone, but they must not see him as a fit for Horton’s D. This is good for Winn and Hughes.

    I hope this doesn’t change our priorities in FA and the Draft. We need to fill that OLB spot, and we need to know if Sheard can be one of them.

  • Jaker

    Love Spencer and I like Phillips, but I don’t think we sign 2 OLB. I think we might sign 1 and draft 1 in the first round.

  • mgbode

    works for me if we also sign a CB2 in FA. I think we have lots of holes and we are losing some veterans. We need to replace some of those with other veterans that fit our scheme better.

  • mgbode

    at #6? I think Mingo is going to be a bust and Ansah shouldn’t go anywhere near the top10 (doesn’t mean he won’t).

  • Jaker

    Agreed. I think we sign a CB2 or try getting one in the 3rd(though waiting that long is risky, I’d prefer a FA)

    Spencer will be costly, but I think he’ll be worth the price. Sign a Punter/ draft one late. Sign Dawson( I don’t think I believe TG). Signing a FS like Byrd or Goldson would be awesome, but I’d rather get Sean Smith or Sam Shields at CB2. After that, ink Mak long term and get a pass rush in round 1. Good?

  • MrCleaveland

    In other news, Joe Banner today released owner Jimmy Haslam, and then re-signed him to a new non-guaranteed incentive-laden contract.

    According to sources, Haslam said, “What the heck just happened here? Not sure I like this.”

  • Jaker

    I’m all for trading down into the teens, picking up a 2nd rounder and getting our pass rusher we want, but I hate to rely on trades. Ansah will soar up the draft at the combine. Our FO needs to be careful with these guys, because I’m with you on Mingo.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Milliner no trading down package some later picks to maybe move up from round three

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    They probably need 2 CBs anyways unless you wanna use the munchkin again who was better at holding then pass coverage.

  • http://twitter.com/brownie_elf Brownie Elf

    I’ll remember training camp this year Frostee stayed well after practice to sign autographs and take pictures. I was lucky enough to grab a photo with him but my dad being nervous, screwed up the shot and he walked away. Luckily, he still stuck around to sign more and I asked him if he would mind retaking the pic. He gladly obliged and signed my camp program. Really says a lot about the guys character.

    Not to mention he’s a pretty decent DE, just a victim of the new system. I know he’ll catch on somewhere else. Wish him the best of luck.

  • mgbode

    i’m hesitant on guys who soar up the boards because they are track stars, which he undoutedly is.

  • mgbode

    i prefer Jammer, but we just need somebody there so we don’t have to rely on Milliner being there at #6 (and can address pass rush which is better value through the draft)
    I agree on Spencer except I don’t think he’ll be terribly costly unless the teams switching to a 3-4 get in a bidding war for him (possible)

  • omgwtfbbq

    if you haven’t already, you should tweet him the picture and thank him. i’m sure he’d appreciate it

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think Rucker could have played DE in a 3-4… he played some DT in the 4-3 with the Bengals. Seems like he was making too much money to be a backup though. Not a bad move… I just hope that there is a plan to replace him with someone of equal or higher skill either through the draft or free agency (and at whatever position is appropriate for the 3-4).

  • CBI

    Actually, I think this might give us a little less cap room for next year. Normally, the signing bonus is prorated over the life of the contract. With the Brown’s cutting Rucker, I believe the remaining portion of the signing bonus, $6.4 million ($8M/5*4), goes immediately against the cap.

  • mgbode

    it is a good consideration but because his salary was not guaranteed, it is only the acceleration of the bonus (was spread, now counts). as such, and including the $2mil roster bonus, we do shave some off his cap number.

  • RGB

    You wiley old devil…freeing up cap space for your boy JaMarcus.
    Well played Mr. Lombardi, well played.

  • Harv 21

    Now we need a name replacement. Not a well-known player, someone named Slushy, Chili, Hot Sauce or something.

  • mgbode

    we already have “The Sink”

  • BenRM

    I’m not surprised. He doesn’t fit in the 3-4 the Browns are running. It’s too bad, he is a good player.

  • Harv 21

    just gave a silent thanks that there is at least one useless piece of Cleve sports trivia that is not clogging the important parts of the gray matter. Please, do not tell me.

  • http://twitter.com/brownie_elf Brownie Elf

    I actually did that day. Got a RT from him.

  • mgbode

    Rucker eats RTs for breakfast!