Cleveland Browns: 15 best free agent acquisitions of all-time
Back in 2013, the Green Bay Packers drafted Cornell center J.C. Tretter, but didn’t have him on the field as a rookie due to injury. Tretter was then placed on the IR in 2014. He was designated as one of the players who could return that season, but still played just eight games as a reserve.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Tretter became a full-time starter for the Packers, however that didn’t last long, as a knee injury sidelined him. Despite his struggles with health, the Browns gave him a three-year, $16.75 million contract before the 2017 season. So far, he’s lived up to that contract, as he’s one of their better offensive linemen. He’s also shaken the injury bug, as detailed by DPD’s Dan Justik during the 2018 season.
"“Pro Football Focus has graded Tretter as the ninth best center in the league this season. The best part of his game has been his pass blocking, with Pro Football Focus grading him as the sixth best pass blocking center in the NFL. The most impressive part about Tretter’s season is how well he is playing despite playing with an injury for most of the season. During the Browns Week 6 loss to the Chargers, Tretter suffered a high ankle sprain. He has been hobbled ever since the injury.” — Justik, Dawg Pound Daily"
Tretter continued to fight through the pain in 2018. Despite some bumps along the way, he’s now started all 32 games over the past two seasons. He’s provided a stabilizing force in the middle of what’s become a very good interior line.
Tretter seemed like a snub for the Pro Bowl this past year, as his play warranted much more recognition than he got. The same could be said of his signing, as the Browns got what they paid for and then some.