The Browns made guard Joel Bitonio one of the highest paid in the league at his position.
The team finalized a multi-year extension with Bitonio multiple league sources confirmed to 92.3 The Fan on Thursday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first to report that the extension, which is worth 5 more years and $51.2 million with $23.7 million guaranteed, was in the works. The new contract keeps him under the Browns’ control through the 2022 season.
The Browns drafted Bitonio in the second round – 35th overall – in the 2014 NFL Draft.
After starting all 16 games as a rookie and not missing a single snap, Bitonio missed the last 6 games of the 2015 season due to an ankle injury and he was placed on injured reserve after sustaining a foot injury in Week 5 last season that led to Lisfranc surgery.
Cleveland is investing heavily in their offensive line this offseason after giving up 66 sacks, using 7 different starting lineups up front and going through 5 different quarterbacks in 2016.
The Browns, who are close to signing Packers center JC Tretter according to NFL network’s Mike Garafolo, are also interested in Bengals free agent guard Kevin Zeitler.