The Cleveland Browns came into the free agency period with over 100 million dollars in cap space.
Sashi Brown and company aren’t afraid to spend it either.
Deals won’t be official until after 4 pm but the team has agreements in place with some top name free agents.
Kevin Zeitler, offensive guard
The 27 year old guard is leaving then Cincinnati Bengals, the team that drafted him in 2012 and is making a record breaking contract.
He has agreed to a five year, 60 million dollar deal (31.2 million guaranteed), making him the highest paid guard in NFL history.
Zeitler will take the right guard starting position immediately in Cleveland and help an offensive line that gave up 66 sacks, the most in the NFL last season.
He was the 7th rated guard in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. He graded out higher as a pass blocker (89.4) than a run blocker (83.1).
JC Tretter, center
The Cam Erving experience has come to an end.
The Browns have come to an agreement with free agent center JC Tretter. Terms of the deal are unknown.
Tretter is coming from the Green Bay Packers where he was drafted in 2013 out of Cornell. He played in 31 games (10 starts) during his four years in Green Bay.
He went down with a knee injury in Week 7 of last year and was inactive for the remainder of the season. He underwent surgery in mid January.
Before the injury however, Tretter was establishing himself as one of top centers in the league. Pro Football Focus graded him as the 9th best center in football.
Kenny Britt, WR
Wednesday night, it was looking like Kenny Britt was signing with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Thursday morning, he was heading to Cleveland.
He reportedly will get 32.5 million dollars over four years (17 million guaranteed).
Britt is coming from the Los Angeles Rams where he spent the last few seasons.
Last season was the best in terms of production, he caught 68 passes for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns.
Now for those who are wondering about Terrelle Pryor, they’re still trying to re-sign him and it’s likely he will stay in Cleveland.
NFL insider and Denver radio host Benjamin Allbright joined Cleveland Browns Daily and said it’s down to Cleveland and Chicago for the 27 year old receiver but Cleveland has the best offer on the table.
Bitonio gets extension
Owner Jimmy Haslam made it clear that the team needed to retain their own as one of the offseason goals. They started that today.
The team signed offensive guard Joel Bitonio, the team’s second round pick in 2014 to a six year extension.
It’ll pay him $51.2 million dollars over the contract with $23.7 million guaranteed.
Bitonio when healthy has been one of the best guards in football and when he went down with a Lisfranc injury to his foot last season, it really was a major blow to the line.
Keeping Bitonio is great for the organization moving forward as past regimes failed to lock up some of the good players when it came to extension time.
Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson understand that the team should be built through the draft but also they have to keep the core group of players who are the nucleus of the team moving forward.