The 31-year-old started 62 of 64 games for the Browns before missing all of 2011 with a back injury that required surgery. Steinbach came to Cleveland when he signed a seven-year deal with the team in 2007 that was worth $49.5 million.
With his age and the fact that he is coming off a major injury, the Browns were unwilling to pay him the $6 million that he was due. When the two sides couldn’t agree to a restructured deal, the Browns had to let Steinbach go. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a chance that he will return. Despite being a free agent – and planning to test the waters – the Browns would like to bring Steinbach back at a reduced rate.
Steinbach had this to say about his release from the team:
“It has been a good ride in Cleveland and I hope it can continue. I’m proud to say that the offensive line has been a bright spot through the past few seasons. It has been a privilege to play for the city of Cleveland and [its] rich tradition. Mr. Lerner has always treated me with respect and I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to work for him and his organization. I will continue to work with the Browns through my agent in hopes of striking a deal that is practical and fair for both sides. In the mean time, I will explore other opportunities. If I do move on, I want to thank the people and fans of Cleveland who have treated my family and I with great support and hospitality. If my time here comes to an end, I want the people of this great city to remember one thing; “You stay classy Cleveland!”