Welcome back to the sixth installment of the series. I am taking a deep dive into the Browns roster and how they can best fill the holes in their roster. Every few days I will be releasing a different position room.
For every position room, I have outlined how the NFL structures that position on the roster. I’ve also tried to predict the variation from the norm due to a Stefanski offense. The players we have in four categories: starter, rotation (play some snaps), depth (injury backup/special teams), and other (likely cut). Then I will lay out the options currently on the roster, available in FA as well as via the draft for all 53 spots.
Interior Offensive Line
The average NFL team has 9.0 OLs on their roster. The five interior spots are made from the three starters as well as two backup players. It is important to make sure at least one of the backup players have experience snapping the ball.
Starting LG: Joel Bitonio
Roster – Bitonio has been a brilliant servant for the Browns. He will return for 2021 but that could be his final year. He is under contract until 2022 but they might look to move his contract on in place of a cheaper rookie deal if Dunn or Forbes can show an elevated level of play. With Teller due to get a new deal for the 2022 season, it is unlikely they will be able to pay veteran deals to three interior linemen once Baker is on a veteran deal.
Starting C: JC Tretter
Roster – Tretter has been great this season but not spectacular like the two guards on either side of him. He did save his two best games of the season for the playoffs though. Like Bitonio there is little chance of him being extended in Cleveland. If Harris develops then they could move on from next season.
Starting RG: Wyatt Teller
Roster – Teller ranked as PFF’s number one offensive lineman in the entire NFL this offseason. It is likely they try to offer him an extension this season to keep him around long term. Due to his age, it makes more sense to keep him here for the next five seasons than Bitonio as you are only going to keep one past their current deal.
Depth G: ?
Roster – The Browns are set to have a really good battle in training camp between Michael Dunn or Drew Forbes. Dunn made his NFL debut in the wildcard round and performed brilliantly whereas Forbes has lots of hype surrounding him despite never playing an NFL snap. Blake Hance could be a wildcard to join this too but didn’t perform as well as Dunn when given the opportunity.
Draft – It might be the case that neither player above shows the consistency required behind the scenes with the team and they decide to take a punt on a late day three pick or UDFA who beats them out in camp.
Depth C: Nick Harris
Roster – Harris has this spot locked up for the next season. Some fans are concerned with the 143 snaps he played at right guard, he doesn’t have the size to play that role for the Browns. He has a season to prove he could be the replacement for Tretter else they could go a different direction and allow him to see out his deal as the backup.
Other: Anthony Fabiano (RFA), Javon Patterson, Cordel Iwuagwu, Colby Gossett, Malcolm Pridgeon
Check back on Monday for the Edge Defender deep dive.
Any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @JackDuffin. The DMs are open for any salary cap/roster construction questions you have.