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Browns sign Kevin Zeitler to 5-year, $60M deal

The Cleveland Browns have raided the open market with one prime goal: fix their leaky offensive line.

Mission accomplished.

The team agreed to terms with free-agent guard Kevin Zeitler on Thursday. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported that Cleveland signed the former Bengals mauler to a five-year, $60 million deal with $31.5 million in guarantees, making him the highest-paid guard in the NFL.

After also inking former Packers center JC Tretter and extending the contract of promising left guard Joel Bitonio, the Browns have put together a formidable front five for coach Hue Jackson.

With future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas anchoring left tackle, Cleveland can now line up Bitonio at left guard, Tretter at the pivot and Zeitler at right guard. The right tackle slot would invite a battle between Cameron Erving, Shon Coleman, Austin Pasztor and perhaps Spencer Drango.

It's a pure bonus that Cleveland pulled Zeitler away from the division-rival Bengals.

With a mountain of cap money, the Browns are using their resources to grow stronger up front. It's a wise move for a team that hasn't had a quarterback play 16 games in a season since Tim Couch pulled off the feat way back in 2001.

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