Before the 2015 NFL Draft, CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was considered a top talent at his position. Most had him slotted to be a high first round draft choice, and then he blew out his knee preparing for a bowl game while playing with Oregon. Suddenly, his stock plummeted and he was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 7th round.
The Browns kept the man people call IEO in their organization in 2015, but recently decided to part ways with the cornerback. When most heard the news they immediately thought the knee was the reason for his departure, but after fellow member of the secondary, Donte Whitner, was released over the weekend, it seemed more apparent this was about purging the team of the previous regime, and less about an injury.
Nonetheless, the injured knee still does linger in the back of the minds of people who make these high-powered decisions. To ease their pain, as well as progress closer to playing the game of football again, IEO is having his knee re-evaluated sometime this week, per ProFootballTalk.
Per the report, "Ekpre-Olomu feels fine, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT. He's currently able to dunk a basketball again, and he's routinely working out with NFL-caliber players, covering receivers and otherwise performing at a high level. The Browns, however, became concerned about his ability to play 16 regular-season games based on the contents of a recent MRI of his knee."
Since IEO has been released from the Browns, he will hit the waiver wire, where any NFL team can put in a waiver claim for his services, and pick up the remaining 3 years of his rookie contract as a 7th round pick. In other words, if a team feels confident he could play soon, as in the 2016 season, the financial aspect of things wouldn't be much of a risk.
If he clears waivers, he then becomes a free agent and could be signed by a team and negotiate a new contract with financial terms and length between the two parties.
For what its worth, the doctor who performed his surgery, and is re-examining the joint, is listed as a consultant for the Los Angeles Rams. Could it mean the Rams could be interested in the services of the former Oregon Duck? Possibly, and we here at BTSC feel the Pittsburgh Steelers should put in a claim to pick up the defensive back off waivers. As we explained Sunday, it would be a very low cost, and low risk, endeavor with a potentially high reward.