News: Browns have agreed to terms with rookie OL Joel Bitonio
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) June 22, 2014
The Cleveland Browns have announced that they and second round pick Joel Bitonio have come to terms on his rookie deal. The former Nevada left tackle is expected to kick inside and play left guard between Pro Bowlers Joe Thomas and Alex Mack, giving the Browns what should be a formidable left side and could be the best in the NFL.
Bitonio has been regarded as a player that can play all five spots and was part of the best team in Nevada’s school history led by Colin Kaepernick in 2010; Bitonio’s redshirt freshman season. He has experience playing guard, but spent almost his entire career at both tackle spots frpm his time at Reno and was asked to snap in workouts as well.
The Browns have Thomas and Mack signed for a few years and Bitonio now agrees to his 4-year deal with a team option on the fifth year, so the unit should stay together for the forseeable future as the team makes the move to more of a zone scheme. While Bitonio will be asked to protect Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel, his first job is helping the Browns establish an identity on the ground. With the additions of Ben Tate, fellow draftee Terrance West and potentially undrafted rookie Isaiah Crowell, the Browns have made it extremely clear they want to run the ball and take a lot of pressure off of the quarterback situation.