Browns Sign Son of Former Coach

Bryan Cox NFL

Getty Bryan Cox

The Cleveland Browns added depth to their defensive line on Wednesday, signing defensive end Bryan Cox on Wednesday.

Cox is in his third NFL season out of Florida. He originally signed by the Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and has appeared in 19 career games and recorded 17 tackles and one fumble recovery. Cox will wear No. 94 in Cleveland.

He appeared in one game with the Panthers this season before being waived on Nov. 8. His father, Bryan, played 12 seasons in the NFL with the Dolphins, Bears, Jets, Patriots and Saints. He was also an assistant coach with the Browns from 2009-10, coaching the defensive line.

Here’s what had listed as the younger Cox’s strengths in his draft profile.

“Has experience playing with a hand down and standing up. Will surprise with how quickly he fires out of his stance. Possesses natural upper-body strength to set a strong edge and constrict his gap against the run. Physical-play demeanor will bear more fruit with improved hands. Can cave down offensive tackles who try and wall him off. Heavy tackler who doesn’t seem to mind scrapping in tight quarters. Runs feet through his tackles. Not a content pass rusher and is constantly searching for an opening. His spin move has potential. Much more productive season in 2015 when he was fully healthy.”

Browns Waive LB Malik Jefferson to Make Room

Linebacker Malik Jefferson was waived to make room for Cox.

Jefferson had not appeared on defense this year for the Browns. He did have a role on special teams, playing 114 snaps and appearing in nine games. He had one tackle to his name during his time in Cleveland.

The Browns claimed Jefferson off waivers on Sept. 1 after he was let go by the Bengals — Cleveland’s AFC North rival.

The Bengals selected Jefferson in the third round of the NFL draft in 2018. He played in 12 games as a rookie and made 10 tackles for Cincinnati, but the team was quick to give up on him following the regime change to new head coach Zac Taylor.

Jefferson starred at the University of Texas, where he played three seasons. He recorded 231 tackles, 26 TFLs and 13 sacks during his time with the Longhorns. He was the Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.

Browns Defensive End Olivier Vernon Ruled Out Against Steelers

GettyBrowns DE Olivier Vernon.

The Browns played without Pro Bowl defensive end Olivier Vernon last week and will have to do it against against the Steelers. Vernon has been ruled out against the Steelers.

Head coach Freddie Kitchens didn’t exactly inspire hope earlier this week when asked about Vernon’s status.

“I would not say I am optimistic, I am just kind of wait and see,” head coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters Wednesday. “We don’t really know. Hopefully he wakes up feeling great.”

Chad Thomas started last week at defensive end for the Browns. Chris Smith is also available, but the team shipped out Genard Avery — a starter last season — before the trade deadline for a pick.

In other injury news, defensive back Eric Murray (knee) has also been ruled out and tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (knee) will be a game-time decision. Both missed Sunday’s game against the Bills.

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