No. 2 – Cleveland Browns C J.C. Tretter
With both guards having big paydays this week, there had to be at least one odd man out, and that man appears to be J.C. Tretter, the starting center for the Cleveland Browns.
Tretter is technically under contract through the 2022 season, but with only $1.6 million of dead cap, expect him to be released by the organization before the start of the regular season.
There are two big reasons why Tretter was the odd man out. The easy one is his durability. Tretter has not missed many games, but he has barely practiced all season because of various injuries. The bottom line, Tretter is past his prime and on the downhill of his career trajectory.
Second, the Cleveland Browns have another great option for center next year. Nick Harris has played very well at times when given the opportunity, and it feels like the organization is ready to give him his shot. Hey, with two all-pro caliber guards beside you, life shouldn’t be too bad for Harris.
The Cleveland Browns offensive line came in as one of the best in the league in 2021, and it will remain in the same position next year even with Tretter likely on his way out. The big questions will start after 2022 when the team will have to decide on Jack Conklin. By then, the hope will be the Browns have a younger guy that they drafted ready to take over at right tackle.