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News » Cleveland Browns Inside Slant 2009-03-20


Cleveland Browns Inside Slant 2009-03-20


Cleveland Browns Inside Slant 2009-03-20
The right side of the Browns offensive line has gone through a makeover since the start of free agency on Feb. 27.


Less than a week after releasing right tackle Kevin Shaffer in a salary cap move, the Browns added a potential replacement on Tuesday when they signed veteran offensive lineman John St. Clair to a three-year deal worth $9 million.

Last Friday the Browns signed former Seahawks guard Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack. Womack can play tackle, but in all likelihood he will compete with 2008 right guard Rex Hadnot for a starting spot.

St. Clair started 16 games at left tackle for the Bears last season. He will not be a left tackle for the Browns - that job belongs to Joe Thomas - but St. Clair has also started at guard and right tackle during his nine-year NFL career that included time with the Dolphins and Rams as well as the Bears.

St. Clair visited the Browns on Monday. They wanted to make sure he was satisfied and decided to pay him about twice what the Bears offered to keep him in Chicago.

"We are excited to add John to the team," Browns General Manager George Kokinis said. "He has played multiple positions along the line and will be a valuable addition to the Browns."

St. Clair, 6-5, 315 pounds, was a third round draft choice by the Rams from Virginia in 2000. He played with the Rams through 2003 and with the Dolphins in 2004 before signing with the Bears in 2005. He has played in 107 games with 55 starts.

Ryan Tucker is a factor at both positions and will compete for a starting job. He was a right tackle for most of his career until he was switched to right guard in 2007. He found a home there when he started the final eight games and helped Jamal Lewis crack 100 yards four times in the last six games. He said he feels more comfortable as a guard at this stage of his career.

Tucker missed 15 games with injuries in 2008. He was supposed to make $3.25 million in 2009, but his salary was reduced to $850,000. He has not played 16 games since 2005.

The right side with Hadnot and Shaffer was the weak part of the Browns offensive line in 2008. Tucker would have been the starter at right guard, but he suffered a fractured hip on the second day of OTAs last May. Shaffer played better at right tackle in 2007 when he had Tucker next to him, but as a pair Hadnot and Shaffer struggled.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 20, 2009

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Lennie Friedman Name: Lennie Friedman
#62
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