The Cleveland Browns were awful at center last season. They have addressed the position in free agency. But what is the long-term solution?
The Cleveland Browns were inept at center last season. They quickly addressed the position in free agency bringing in J.C. Tretter to settle the position. However, the Browns need to identify a long-term solution moving forward.
Center was a black hole last season. Every person who played center was injured at some point during the season. The only exception was Anthony Fabiano, who spent most of the season on the practice squad. Cameron Erving, John Greco and Austin Reiter all suffered serious injuries last season. All but Greco’s injury occurred while playing center.
To address the position, the Browns signed free agent J.C. Tretter. Tretter was well-regarded as a high-quality center by Pro Football Focus as he was their highest rated free agent center. But he comes with a catch. Tretter only started four games last season for the Green Bay Packers. Injury issues are a serious concern for Tretter and the Browns headed into 2017.
Should Tretter get injured again, like his history suggests he will, where will the Browns turn as his replacement?
Should Tretter get hurt, the Browns must turn to the usual suspects. John Greco will probably serve as the swing G/C this upcoming season. Should he falter, the Browns could fall back on Austin Reiter who played well in his one start or Anthony Fabiano. Returning to Cameron Erving should be out of the question.
While all these options are worth a look, it has come time for the Browns to consider a long-term option at center. Ohio State’s Pat Elflein may just be the guy.