After losing two offensive linemen last season in free agency to begin 2016, the Cleveland Browns have set out to restock their offensive line in 2017.
On the first day of free agency, the team locked up left guard Joel Bitonio to massive $51.2 million extension and then made former Bengals right guard Kevin Zeitler the highest paid guard in NFL history when they signed him to a five-year $60 million deal with $31.5 million of that guaranteed.
The $12 million annual average value surpasses the $11.7 million per season that the Raiders gave guard Kelechi Osemele.
Guard was not the only position the team wanted to sure up to begin the new NFL league year as they also added former Packers center J.C. Tretter on a three-year deal that will allow the team to upgrade at center a year after seeing a massive downgrade in play at that position.
The addition of Zeitler not only strengthens the Browns offensive line, but also weakens a division rival who lost their starting left tackle as well on Thursday.