Browns, G Joel Bitonio Agree On Extension

The Browns have now agreed to extensions with two guards in two days. Shortly after their Wyatt Teller deal, the Browns have come to terms with Joel Bitonio, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

It’s a three-year extension for the 30-year-old left guard, the team announced, keeping tying him to the Browns through 2025. It checks in at three years and $48MM, Rapoport adds (on Twitter). This makes Bitonio the Browns’ highest-paid offensive lineman again and matches Joe Thuney‘s guard-record $16MM AAV.

A second Bitonio extension emerged as a strong possibility earlier today, and the Browns went from having Teller in a contract year and Bitonio on a through-2022 deal to both signed long-term. These moves lock down arguably the NFL’s premier guard tandem, keeping key principals of Cleveland’s dominant run game in the fold. Both Bitonio and Teller are signed through 2025.

[RELATED: Browns Lock Up Teller Long-Term]

Since signing a five-year, $50MM pact in 2017, Bitonio saw the guard market transform. Ten guards entered Wednesday out-earning him, including Teller, who agreed to a four-year deal worth $56.8MM. Bitonio made three Pro Bowls while playing on that $10MM-per-year contract, and over the past two seasons, the Browns have deployed a top-tier offensive line. Pro Football Focus has Teller and Bitonio slotted as its Nos. 2 and 3 overall guards this season.

Cleveland’s historically talented Nick ChubbKareem Hunt backfield duo has the Browns second in rushing yards this season, and Chubb has strung together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. In the game both Pro Bowlers missed, ex-Alliance of American Football back D’Ernest Johnson totaled nearly 200 scrimmage yards in a win over the Broncos.

The last link to Cleveland’s Joe Thomas-fronted offensive lines, Bitonio is the longest-tenured player on the team. The Browns selected him during the Ray Farmer GM regime, acquiring him in the second round of the 2014 draft. Bitonio has been a starter since Week 1 of his rookie season and has made 104 starts during his career.

Displaying a tremendous commitment to their front, Cleveland now has four O-linemen — Bitonio, Teller, center J.C. Tretter and right tackle Jack Conklin — signed to veteran deals that run through at least 2022. Tretter and Conklin’s contracts go through next season. Jedrick Wills‘ rookie deal goes through 2023, with a fifth-year option included that could take it through 2024.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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