The Cleveland Browns have released Devon Cajuste, the tight end who gained acclaim as a fan favorite on the latest season of HBO’s Hard Knocks.
Cajuste went undrafted in 2016 and spent his first NFL training camp with the San Francisco 49ers. After being cut prior to that season, he joined the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad.
The Stanford product has not played in an NFL game. But as he fought for a roster spot with the Browns this summer, he was featured heavily on Hard Knocks due to his special bond with his ill father. His story resonated with fans, many of whom were disappointed to see him waived on Saturday.
Cajuste’s story was featured on the second episode the show when he shared the story of his father, Gregory, who has had three heart attacks, a stroke and a tracheotomy. He even once told his son that he had only five years to live, and told Cajuste about his third heart attack during an interview for the show.
“When I heard that, yeah, I tried to play it off like no big deal, we’ll talk later and then I’m like, what?” Cajuste told Cleveland.com.
Cajuste said he watched that episode while in the tight ends room at Cleveland’s training facility, but did so alone when everyone was out to lunch.
“I made sure that I could have that space because I didn’t know what it was going to look like, I didn’t know really what they were going to utilize because there was a lot there,” Cajuste told Cleveland.com, “and I still broke down even when I watched it myself and I knew exactly what happened.”
Cajuste had two receptions for 48 yards in Cleveland’s final preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Thursday — one of which for 41 yards on the opening drive.
The 25-year-old had 27 receptions for 383 yards and three touchdowns in his final season at Stanford in 2015.
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