NFL Free Agency is in its infant stages of the 2021 season and the Cleveland Browns have released center JC Tretter, adding him to the free agent pool.
This is surely a cost-saving move for the Browns, who are plenty active in at the very least, in hypothetical acquisitions. Some will look at the release and think to themselves “What in the world is this team doing?!” Well, the answer is quite simple, saving money.
By releasing Tretter, the Browns save $8.2 million in cap space, which is a good business practice. A fan favorite since coming to Cleveland five years ago, Tretter will be missed on the stout offensive line, which has helped the Browns be such a dominant running team.
Tretter played every single snap in his five years with Cleveland, only missing one game due to COVID-19 protocols. He is everything Cleveland had hoped for when they signed him to a three-year, $16.75 million dollar deal back in 2017. Tretter just turned 31 last month so that also could have been a factor. The Browns are always looking for the best use of the salary cap and this is another business decision.
General manager Andrew Berry said that Tretter had been a “mainstay and ironman at center” and he’s absolutely right.
Tretter penned a letter to the Browns organization and it really shows what kind of guy he is. He thanked all the behind-the-scenes crew as well as his coaches and teammates, most notably Joel Bitonio.
With Tretter now looking to find a new team to play for, the Browns will likely move Nick Harris into the center position as his replacement. The 6-foot-1, 293 pound Harris has played in 23 career games and made two spot starts, one as a rookie in 2020 and one last season. Harris is only 23-years old, which is a way the Browns operate; young and contract friendly.
JC Tretter will be missed a ton by the Browns faithful and whichever team in need of a center decides to sign him, it will be well worth whatever the number says on the contact. Good luck to you, JC.