Friday, March 10, 2017

Cleveland Browns Free Agency Day 1 Recap

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

The Cleveland Browns were making a ton of moves on the first day of the new league year. They had over 100 Million in cap space to use and boy they put it to good use.

It started this morning when the Browns and wide receiver Kenny Britt agreed to a four-year/ $32.5 Million, $17 Million guaranteed. The 28 year-old came off his best year in the NFL catching 68 passes for 1002 yards and five touchdowns. Britt also had five catches for 30+ yards...and the Browns only had six as a team for the entire season. Britt is a former first round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2009 and revived his career with the Rams, after multiple off the field incidents during his Titans tenure.

The Browns signed left guard Joel Bitonio to a new contract. six years/51.2 Million, 23.7 Guaranteed. Bitonio is one of the bright starts on the Browns and when healthy he is one of the top offensive linemen in the league. Bitonio is also only 25 years old and is only starting to reach his prime as a player.

On top of the Joel Bitonio extension, the Browns signed two offensive linemen. J.C. Tretter and Kevin Zeitler.

J.C. Tretter was the Green Bay Packers starting center to begin the season last year. But ended up suffering a MCL injury mid-season. Tretter's contract is for three years/$16.75 Million, with $10 Million of it Guaranteed. He is a former fourth round pick and last year was the first time he was named a starter. Tretter has a history of injuries but when he's played he was the fifth best center per ProFootballFocus, and is now projected to be the Browns starting center next season.

The Browns also signed former Bengal Kevin Zeitler. Zeitler's deal five-year/$60 Million, $32.5 Million Guaranteed, makes him the highest paid guard in NFL history.

Zeitler is a former first round pick in 2012 out of Wisconsin and has a history with Head Coach Hue Jackson. Zielter has only missed eight games in his career and hasn't missed a game since the 2014 season. The acquisitions of Tretter and Zeitler sure up the offensive line for whatever quarterback in under-center for the Browns in 2017.

Speaking of quarterbacks, the Browns also acquired Brock Osweiler, a 2017 sixth round pick, and a 2018 second round pick from the Texans for a 2017 fourth round pick. The Browns move is comparable to a salary dump trade in the NBA. Per multiple reports, the Browns are either going to trade Osweiler or just release him and eat the $16 Million dollar cap hit for this season. Some speculate the Browns are trying to trade multiple picks to either move up in the NFL draft or attempt to trade for Patriots' backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The Browns are also expected to release quarterback Robert Griffin III.

The Browns claimed former 2014 third round pick Center Marcus Martin from San Francisco. Martin Started 24 games in this three year with the 49ers. He's played center, right guard, and left tackle with majority of his games coming at the center position.

And that recaps day one of the new league year for the Cleveland Browns. After all of their moves the Browns still have $76 Million in cap space left and that could change with Brock Osweiler being dealt and/or Robert Griffin III being released.

Oh and...Terrelle Pryor still hasn't signed with a team...

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