Jack Conklin reiterates desire to remain with the Browns beyond 2022

Jack Conklin, Browns. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Jack Conklin, Browns. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Jack Conklin will be a free agent in 2023 and said he wants to stay with the Cleveland Browns earlier this year. On Tuesday, he reiterated that desire.

A former first-round pick out of Michigan State in 2016, Jack Conklin spent the first four seasons of his career with the Tennessee Titans. He then signed with the Cleveland Browns in 2020, one of the first free-agent additions made by general manager Andrew Berry.

Conklin made an immediate impact on the Cleveland offensive line, helping them turn one of their biggest weaknesses into a strength. He was even named a First-Team All-Pro that year.

His second season wasn’t as fun for the veteran since he played in just seven games after an elbow injury sidelined him early in the year and then a torn patellar tendon ended his season two weeks after he returned.

The rehab process kept him out of action until Week 3 this year, which happens to be the final season he’s under contract. While trying to get back on the field, Conklin said he wanted to sign an extension with the Browns and even a 5-8 record hasn’t changed his mind.

On Tuesday, the veteran said Cleveland was his home and that he had every desire to finish his playing days with the Browns.

Will the Browns extend Jack Conklin?

While Conklin is sold on the Browns, the real question is whether or not they’re sold on his return. Conklin has seen a decline in performance this season and it’s fair to ask if the repaired knee is causing him issues.

Even if that wasn’t the case, Cleveland has just $3.9 million in cap space available next year according to OverTheCap.com. So that means they’re likely going to be trying to trim salary, not extend veteran players that they feel they can replace.

And while he might have been as good as Conklin, James Hubbard performed well enough in Weeks 1 and 2 that he wasn’t a liability.

In the end, the front office might bank on Hudson showing more improvement and taking over the job full-time in 2023.