Browns To Sign Kevin Zeitler

The Browns will give Kevin Zeitler a five-year, $60MM deal that includes $31.5MM guaranteed, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The deal will make Zeitler the highest-paid guard in NFL history.Kevin Zeitler (Vertical)

Nearly every NFL front office was reportedly interested in Zeiter, who was the top free agent guard on the market and ranked as PFR’s No. 5 overall free agent. In addition to the Browns, the Colts, Jaguars, and Saints were all linked to Zeitler, who hasn’t missed a start in either of the past two seasons. With his new pact, Zeitler will eke past Kelechi Osemele as the league’s highest-paid interior offensive lineman.

Zeitler, 26, has made 71 starts at right guard since Cincinnati selected him in the first round of the 2012 draft, and in 2016 Zeitler graded as the league’s seventh-best guard, according to Pro Football Focus. Zeitler played the 2016 campaign under the terms of his fifth-year option which paid him $8.07MM, a figure that should have represented the bare minimum in contract negotiations.

Cleveland has revamped its offensive line today, adding Zeitler to play right guard, J.C. Tretter to man center, and extending left guard Joel Bitonio on a long-term deal. The Browns’ front five ranked near the bottom of the league in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate, so the club clearly needed to address the position group.

For Cincinnati, the loss of Zeitler represents the second major offensive line defection of the day, as left tackle Andrew Whitworth signed with the Rams this morning.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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32 comments on “Browns To Sign Kevin Zeitler

  1. Eric

    Seriously, Zitler? You picked The Clowns over the rising Jaguars? Have fun losing. And stinking.

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    • Clark

      Cause whens the last time the Jags were considered a winning team? sips tea

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      • Eric

        They’re getting better. Seen their stacked secondary lately? Now have best free agent corner Bouye and Church. Along with Ramsey and Gipson.

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        • chrisv333

          Bouye isn’t official yet

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        • KCelts

          Let’s not go nuts now

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      • sufferfortribe
        sufferfortribe

        Hehehehe!

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    • Jags are trash haha

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      • Eric

        Better than the Browns!

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        • renegadescoach

          Maybe not for long!

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  2. Clark

    Tretter, Zeitler, and Thomas this o line went from dead last to top 10

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    • ericl97

      and Bitonio

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      • Clark

        completely forgot makes it even better now top 5 if not 3

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  3. j12harris

    Desperation deal

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    • Clark

      not really they needed o line help and got the best guard great move

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    • renegadescoach

      No. I don’t think so. The Browns won 1 game last year…they have no choice but to overpay. Luckily, they have the $$$ to do it.

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      • Clark

        they won 1 game because they didnt spend money, therefore not lucky

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  4. jp6578

    WOW!!! Browns going after it this off-season

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  5. RBergie24

    Finally a good day to be a Browns fan .

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    • sufferfortribe
      sufferfortribe

      Absolutely!

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  6. Bill

    So… what quarterback is this ne “O-Line” going to protect?

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    • renegadescoach

      RGIII. Keep him on the field, and he’s a decent QB.

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      • Stricke3

        Gone

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    • sufferfortribe
      sufferfortribe

      Kessler.

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  7. VON ERICH

    Browns, Jaguars, what’s the difference? They both stink

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    • sufferfortribe
      sufferfortribe

      Jealous?

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  8. fisher40

    The Browns over pay for an OG. They will always be a dumpster fire of a franchise. Of all the teams to go to he chooses them.

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    • Stricke3

      Good player but clearly an overreach for that contract length, max, and guaranteed money. Browns still need QB and big play RB and WRs. Still a step in right direction.

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  9. sufferfortribe
    sufferfortribe

    Sounds like a lot of posters here are butt hurt because he didn’t sign with their team.

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    • John

      No one is “butt hurt” over the Cleveland Browns. You must be delusional.

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      • sufferfortribe
        sufferfortribe

        My comment was about Zeitler, not the Browns. But you go right on hating.

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  10. connfyoozed

    Smartest move Browns have made in awhile. Sure it’s an overpay, but the Browns have so much room under the cap that they need to spend, so why not? Their offensive line went from being a sieve to potentially one of the better O-lines in the AFC.

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  11. dust44

    Thomas, Zietler, Tretter, Bitonio, Erving is a solid O Line. Build that D up and maybe they can win 2 games this year….

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