Browns take great step forward on busy first day of free agency - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Browns take great step forward on busy first day of free agency

V.P. of Football Operations Sashi Brown at news conference. (Source: WOIO) V.P. of Football Operations Sashi Brown at news conference. (Source: WOIO)
BEREA, OH (WOIO) -

My favorite part of what the Browns did on the first day of free agency is what they did with the offensive line, and the fact they did not have to overpay to do it.

The contracts to Kevin Zeitler and Joel Bitonio are massive, but they are going to young players just entering their prime, guys that will be two of the best at their position for a long time.

They didn't give huge contracts to players whose careers are winding down and were just looking for one last pay day.

Usually teams in the Browns situation -- being awful -- have to overpay to get guys. In this case, Bitonio was already here and liked it, and Zeitler has history with head coach Hue Jackson from Cincinnati, so the wheels were already greased for both guys.

The signing of J.C. Tretter from Green Bay should not be overlooked, either. ProFootballFocus.com had him rated 27th on its list of Top 50 free agents. You don't need to hit home runs on every signing. Tretter seems to be a solid player, and should be an upgrade over Cameron Erving at center. At 26, Tretter is another player the Browns did not have to back up the Brinks truck to get -- the deal is a reported three years, $16.75 million.

The right tackle spot still needs to be resolved (Shon Coleman? Spencer Drango? Draft pick?) -- but this was a great first step for the Browns.

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