Cleveland Browns sign Evan Brown, restructure Chris Hubbard’s contract

  • Chris Hubbard
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Evan Brown
  • nfl free agency
By Jereme Jones March 26, 2020 0 Comment

The Cleveland Browns make some moves to solidify their depth on the offensive line, signing a center and restructuring the contract of an offensive tackle.

The Cleveland Browns made two moves on Thursday to help solidify the depth on their offensive line, adding one player and restructuring the contract of another. The new signing is center Evan Brown, who played last year with the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants. The restructured contract belongs to offensive tackle Chris Hubbard.

Evan Brown’s NFL experience

Evan Brown is a young player, 23, who has only been in the NFL for two seasons. He played his college football at SMU, where he started 47 games, 30 at center, and 17 at guard. He signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2018. Brown made the Giants in 2018 and stayed on the roster the entire season, but did not see any game action.

New York cut Brown at the end of the 2019 preseason but then signed to the team’s practice squad. In November, he was signed to the active roster, seeing action on one play. The Giants again cut him a few days later and then re-signed him to the practice squad. In December, the Miami Dolphins signed Brown off the Giants’ practice squad and on to their active roster. With the Dolphins, Brown saw action in three games, getting in on 37 snaps. Miami waived him last week, which allowed the Browns to sign him.

Brown will have an opportunity to fill a reserve interior lineman role in Cleveland. It is a position that the Browns’ have a definite need at. As of now, J.C. Tretter will be the starter at center, and Joel Bitonio is the starter at left guard. The right guard position appears to be a competition between Wyatt Teller and Drew Forbes. But, behind those players, the Browns only have guards Malcolm Pridgeon and Colby Gossett and center, Willie Wright. None of which has seen game action with Cleveland. Only Gossett has ever played in an NFL game; he played in five, starting four, for the Arizona Cardinals in 2018. Brown should have a good opportunity to win a reserve role with Cleveland in 2020.

Chris Hubbard’s restructured contract

The other move Cleveland made on their offensive line was restructuring the contract of veteran offensive tackle Chris Hubbard.

The move is a good one for Cleveland, as it allows the team to keep Hubbard on the roster in 2020. Hubbard struggled last season as the team’s starting right tackle, giving up 38 pressures and six sacks, but he can be valuable as a swing tackle. The right tackle spot in 2020 will be held by recent free agent signing Jack Conklin and the team is likely to fill the left tackle spot with their top pick in the upcoming draft.

Hubbard will give the Browns a veteran they can use in case of injury. If you remember week one of 2019, the team had two tackles injured against the Titans and were forced to play a guard, Justin McCray, at tackle. This move gives the team more depth, something they seriously lacked at the beginning of the off-season. It also provides the Browns with a little more room under the salary cap and gets the team out of the third year of Hubbard’s original contract.

While neither of these moves creates the kind of splash general manager Andrew Berry and the Browns made last week in free agency, they give the team more depth and more payroll flexibility. This allows the team to move their focus to upgrade the defense in both free agency and the draft. Thus, Browns’ fans should be happy with today’s moves and excited to see what comes next in Berea.

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