Did the Browns break an “unwritten rule?”


The Cleveland Browns made a relatively below-the-radar move earlier this month, adding offensive lineman Michael Bowie after he was waived by the Seattle Seahawks. Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable appeared on 710 ESPN Seattle, suggesting that the Seahawks still believed in Bowie and that the Seahawks expected the Browns to stay away from him, citing an “unwritten rule” that allows teams to hide injured players from their 31 opponents.

“Typically when you waive someone injured, they kind of get through [waivers] and you’re going to get them back, fix them and move on,” said Cable. ” Cleveland chose to take him, and whether you agree with it or not, I guess that’s business. It’s kind of an unwritten rule — you just leave each other’s injured players alone and they didn’t.”

Having 90 players and needing to start making space on their roster, the Seahawks waived Bowie due to a shoulder injury despite the 22-year-old starting several games for the eventual Super Bowl Champions. Bowie will require surgery and could be sidelined from four to six months having sustained an injury on the first day of training camp. Seattle had hoped that the Browns would adhere to said unwritten rule where other teams leave injured players alone, allowing them to rehabilitate and return to their original team, but the Browns thought otherwise, adding a 22-year-old player who was in line to start at right tackle for one of the best teams in football.

The Saints, Cowboys, and Patriots made waivers claims for Bowie, too, but the Browns had superior waiver claim. The Patriots violated said rule two years ago with tight end Jake Ballard, and again only days before Bowie was waived with running back Tyler Gaffney.

Bowie, a former seventh-round pick, should be fit for Cleveland spring practices in 2015. One step closer to The Earthquake.

Image: SeattleSeahawks.com

  • dimoko

    screw unwritten rules…to be a rule it needs to be written.

  • mgrace74

    The Saints, Cowboys, and Patriots also laid claim to him, also breaking said “unwritten rule”, but Caple doesn’t mention that. He speaks as if 31 other teams knew about and follow this, but the Browns when that is not the case at all. Sounds like a punk to me.
    P.S. I hope he doesn’t find me and punch me in the face in a locker room.

  • nj0

    Enough with the unwritten rules!

  • Jared in LA

    Meh, the Seahawks won the championship last year. These type of “rules” don’t apply to them the year after, especially re: the Browns.

  • Harv 21

    This sounds strange to me – believe in the Butch or Romeo era we lost a promising rookie DB under the same circumstances because we hoped no one would claim a rehabbing player. Name escapes me but seem to remember an east coast team, maybe the Patriots, ended up with him.

  • Natedawg86

    Sign me up if the Saints and Pats wanted him too. What an idiot. They released him so they would’t have to release someone else. Whoops…

  • jeff

    Don Carey?

  • jeff

    I agree. We are trying to beat the other 31 teams not make friends with them.

  • Natedawg86

    That guy ever record a stat?

  • Natedawg86

    Those guys weren’t exactly the in the brain trust.

  • jeff

    Not sure if that’s sarcasm but he played in 14 games last year, starting 3. 100 career total tackles, 8 career pass def.

  • Natedawg86

    Rules are made to be broken

  • Natedawg86

    Oh, I just clicked on wiki and saw nothing, just assumed he was a career practice squad guy.

  • jeff

    Understood. Seems like a run of the mill type player. I think Bowie can be a starter next season.

  • Natedawg86

    Yeah dumb move by SEA…but they may have enough talent to take the risk of putting him on waivers

  • mgbode

    it is about time we are the team breaking the unwritten rules on other teams rather than having other teams break them on us. waiver rules are there for a reason, if they don’t want him picked off by another team, then they need to bite the bullet and only have 89!!! guys in practice rather than 90.

  • Wow

    Um it’s a competitive league Seattle, teams try to beat each other.

  • nj0

    They’re going to bean one of our guys next time we play each other.

    Seriously, unwritten rules are beyond asinine.

  • scripty

    Yes, i think JAX took him. IIRC, he played vs. us in the first preseason game with him on DET.

  • Garry_Owen

    They can polish their Lombardi Trophy with their tears. Poor things.

  • Sam Gold

    We’re playing to win games not popularity contests with other teams. C’mon man…!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Tell that to Heir Schnitkey!

  • woofersus

    So the defending super bowl champions, whose roster is so strong they can’t spare a roster spot (out of 90) for their injured starting right tackle from the year before, want a team that won four games to adhere to an unwritten rule for said superior team’s benefit? The height of ridiculousness. Waive somebody else if you want to keep Bowie. It’s not like they were down to 53. That’s an awfully self-serving unwritten rule for the teams with a wealth of quality players.

  • RGB

    There’s only one rule.
    Just win, baby.

  • mgbode

    Zing! that one would probably cut Cable pretty deep considering he coudn’t do that for Al.

  • Scott Johnson


  • Woods

    Note to Mitchell Schwartz: The front office views Michael Bowie as your potential replacement in 2015. Please perform well in 2014.

  • TOJ

    What the written rules, such as those banning PEDs?

  • Harv 21

    thanks. That’s the guy.

  • Pat Leonard

    And also, coaches punching players. Those seem like better rules to me.