Given that the Browns will cough up $16 million to a player they don’t want, it’s no surprise to see them give up big money to players they do want. Case in point: Guard Kevin Zeitler.
In a visit to PFT Live at the Scouting Combine, Bengals tackle Eric Winston said of former teammates Zeitler and new Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth: “They’re gonna get paid.” Get paid they did.
Whitworth gets $33.75 million over three years, with $15 million of it as a practical matter fully guaranteed at signing. Zeitler gets more. A lot more.
Five years, $60 million. For a guard.
I remember when it was a big deal for guards to get $7 million per year, and that wasn’t all that long ago. The high-water mark is now $12 million. For a guard.
Plenty of coaches and General Managers believe competent guards are easy to find. Great guards aren’t, however, and the Browns and their Moneyball mechanism apparently believe Zeitler is great.
Then again, the Browns have had a great left tackle for a decade now, and what has that done for them? Maybe by adding a few other great pieces on the offensive line, the offense itself will move closer to becoming great.