BEREA — Cornerback Dimitri Patterson was paid $6 million to play seven games this season.
He was waived Monday in a surprise move, nine months after signing a three-year, $16 million contract with $6 million guaranteed.
The move, announced in a two-sentence release, happened after coach Pat Shurmur’s news conference. He will address it Wednesday.
Patterson was re-signed in March to compete for a starting spot. He started four games this season — all during Joe Haden’s four-game suspension — and played three as the nickelback, where he excelled in 2011, his first season in Cleveland.
But Patterson frustrated some in the organization when he took nearly two months to return from a high ankle sprain and torn ligament suffered Oct. 7. He missed seven games before returning Dec. 9 against Kansas City.
“Everybody has independent contracts and you all have to put good stuff on film at the end of the day,” Patterson said Nov. 19. “No one’s going to step in for me and say, ‘I forgot. He had an ankle.’ No, they’re going to be, ‘He just got beat for three touchdowns.’ That’s the reality of the situation.”
He played the last two games as the nickelback, playing a total of 60 snaps. For the season, he had 28 tackles and five pass breakups.
He will be replaced by Buster Skrine, who had his ups and downs filling in for Patterson earlier in the year. Skrine is third on the team with 63 tackles and second with 11 breakups. Rookie seventh-rounder Trevin Wade will be the fourth corner.
Patterson was scheduled to make $4.5 million in 2013 and $5.3 million in 2014. He played 14 games in 2011 with one start, 26 tackles and 12 breakups. He didn’t have an interception during his time in Cleveland.
In your face
Quarterback Brandon Weeden had four balls tipped or batted at the line Sunday, raising his league-high total to 21.
Shurmur said the shallow crosses prevalent in the West Coast Offense contribute to the number.
“I think what’s important is we just keep looking to throw the ball in lanes. It’s very hard to throw over guys,” he said. “It happens at times, but we just keep working on it and try to eliminate them.”
The batted balls Sunday in the loss to the Redskins came on a quick hitch to receiver Joshua Cribbs that was tipped by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan on the edge, a slant to Josh Gordon tipped at the line, a ball batted back into Weeden’s face from a rush up the middle and a swing pass to running back Trent Richardson that Kerrigan got on his way to Weeden.
“We’ve done a decent job of getting rid of the football,” Shurmur said. “So there are times when the rush just stops and puts their hands up. Now we have to do a good job of making sure the ball gets through.”
Shurmur credited the Redskins for their effective use of the play-action pass. Rookie fill-in Kirk Cousins threw for 329 yards, many after play-action fakes and on bootlegs. The Browns repeatedly overpursued, giving him time and room to look downfield.
“They got it going pretty well,” Shurmur said. “I think we were prepared for their style of offense.
“They did a good job. Now when they run play-action, naked (bootleg) game like they were doing, it takes one guy or two guys that are responsible for the backside of the area to either contain it or defend it initially. And then once he’s outside the pocket, then it’s important that we cover well. Each play there was a different scenario, and it wasn’t the same play all the time. We’ve just got to do a better job of defending it.”
Shurmur didn’t have an injury update on strong safety T.J. Ward (knee) and defensive end Frostee Rucker (groin). They left the game and didn’t return.
“We’re still evaluating those injuries,” Shurmur said.
Usama Young slid over from free safety to fill in for Ward, with Tashaun Gipson manning free safety full time. Jabaal Sheard and Billy Winn saw extra snaps in place of Rucker.