The Browns overhauled much of their roster this offseason, but questions remain about how they will fill the void left by Joe Thomas‘ retirement, Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com writes. Shon Coleman will likely open training camp at No. 1, but there is a group waiting behind him, including second-round pick Austin Corbett, undrafted free agent Desmond Harrison, and new addition Greg Robinson.
If the Browns do not feel comfortable with any of those options, they could consider moving Joel Bitonio from guard to tackle. Bitonio played left tackle at Nevada, and the Browns have experimented with him at tackle in practice this offseason, but that transition would take one of the best guards in the game away from his best position.
“Just because you’re the best guy doesn’t mean you’re in the best spot,” offensive line coach Bob Wylie said. “Joel is an elite left guard. Could he play tackle? Sure, but it would take a while for him to learn the nuances. If he’s the best lineman, is he really the best left tackle? Not necessarily.”
In theory, the Browns could also explore out-of-house left tackle options, though the free agent market has mostly dried up at this stage of the offseason.
Here’s more from the AFC North:
- As the Steelers and Le’Veon Bell near the extension deadline, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looked back the club’s history with the franchise tag. Since the tag was instituted 25 years ago, the Steelers have signed just over 44% of tagged players to extensions. Some of those deals have worked out well, as was the case with defensive back Carnell Lake in 1995. Others have not, such as Jason Gildon’s five-year, $23MM extension in 2002, which was terminated in 2003.
- Offset language is holding up negotiations for Browns rookies Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward.
- Browns head coach Hue Jackson and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis may be on the hot seat. Will either coach be the first to be fired in 2018? Click here to vote.
- Recently, we examined Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley as an extension candidate.