The Cleveland Browns have waived receiver Syndric Steptoe with the designation “injured,” ending his season and possibly his time with the team.
Steptoe will be exposed to waivers, meaning that any team can make a claim for his rights. If no one makes a claim, he will go to injured reserve.
The specifics on the procedure fall into the realm of stuff we used to know but have since forgotten. As we recall it, the rules require the exposure of non-vested veterans to waivers in order to prevent the stashing of players who are not actually injured.
If we recall correctly, the non-vested veterans can go directly to injured reserve after the 53-man rosters are set. But there’s a chance that we’re wrong. And we invite a league insider who’s up on the details to drop us a line.
Moving forward, Steptoe’s contract expires after this year. The Browns presumably will have the ability to apply one of the various restricted free agent tenders to him in 2010. Given the fact that agent Jerome Stanley has claimed publicly that coach Eric Mangini’s decision to convert a walk-through practice to a full-blown session in the rain caused Steptoe’s injury, it’s unlikely that Steptoe will be wearing an orange helmet next year — unless it has a series of curved black stripes on it.