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20 September 2015: A Cleveland Browns helmet on the sideline during the second quarter of the game between the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. Cleveland defeated Tennessee 28-14. Photographer: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire
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This might not be end of K’Waun Williams fight vs. Browns

Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire
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K’Waun Williams’ run with the Cleveland Browns has predictably come to an end, as the team released the third-year defensive back on Monday.

The player and the team were at odds over Williams’ medical condition, as the team has presented him as healthy and fine to play, and thus suspended and fined him after he refused to play in the team’s preseason opener.

Williams said he didn’t play because he has an injured ankle. His agent, Evan Krakower, told Cleveland.com that Williams told the Browns his ankle was bothering him and that he “could not take on a full load in the preseason opener that night.”

The Browns, though, offered a different story, saying Williams never told them about his ankle until the next day, and that he planned to retire. But Krakower said Williams mentioned retiring only because he believed the Browns were only giving him those two options — play or quit.

Williams and his agent later presented an outside medical opinion saying that he needed surgery to clean up bone spurs in the ankle and said they would appeal his suspension. The Browns, not believing the whole thing to be worth the trouble, opted simply to release him.

Williams started just 10 games over the course of his first two seasons and was already buried on the Browns’ depth chart, listed behind Tramon Williams, Jamar Taylor and Tracy Howard at one of the cornerback positions.

His decline, though, came after he burst onto the scene as an undrafted free agent in 2014, taking first-round pick Justin Gilbert’s spot on the depth chart. He was a solid nickel back for a 7-8 Browns team that year and was seen as a promising piece for the franchise moving forward.

But things went downhill after that as he clashed with the new coaching staff over his health.

Browns coach Hue Jackson wisely, given the potential legal issues in play, refused to elaborate or even really comment on the situation. All he said was “We’re just moving forward.”

It will be interesting to see, however, is this is the end of it. If Williams is legitimately hurt, they may have some legal recourse against the team here. The Cleveland Clinic, which is the outlet that said he needed surgery, is not the Browns’ official hospital. But that doesn’t make their opinion illegitimate, and Williams certainly went there because he disagreed with the team’s opinion on the status of his ankle.

If the Browns were attempting to force Williams to play hurt under a threat of release, that’s pretty bad. Then again, if Williams saw the writing on the wall that he was going to struggle to make the team and invented an injury in order to stick around, that’s bad as well.

Oftentimes, the truth lies somewhere in between, but it’s impossible to know from the outside exactly what is going on here. It will be interesting to see if Williams and his agent want to push the issue. If they do, then we know there is likely a legitimate gripe on the player’s part.

This might not be end of K’Waun Williams fight vs. Browns

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